Common Foundation Programme - Moving and Handling

A guide to the Moving and Handling sessions in the Common Foundation Programme (module 2) for both staff and students.

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Load management; introduction to legislation

Employers responsibilities

Employees responsibilities

The reporting of injuries and accidents

Summary of key points




Many people find legislative details difficult to remember. However, it is important that you understand the legal requirements relevant to manual handling. This is not only to make sure you comply with them, but also because they represent the first step in the protection of your physical well being whilst engaged in task that have a manual handling content.

When you have gone through the package test your knowledge with the questions at the end.


The main pieces of legislation relating to the moving and handling of clients are:

EUROPEAN DIRECTIVE 90/269 on manual handling, introduced on 31st December 1992 and adopted in Britain as the MANUAL HANDLING OPERATIONS REGULATIONS.


These regulations place responsibilities on BOTH EMPLOYERS AND EMPLOYEES specifically relating to manual handling.


THE MANAGEMENT OF HEALTH AND SAFETY AT WORK – REG 12 (1992) also places certain responsibilities for health and safety on employees.

THE REPORTING OF INJURIES AND DANGEROUS OCCURRENCES REGULATION (R.I.D.D.0.R.) 1995 places responsibilities for employers and employees for reporting accidents in the workplace.

 It is important to look at these pieces of legislation in some detail.


REGULATION 4 OF THE EUROPEAN DIRECTIVE identifies five main components of manual handling for which employers have specific responsibility, as follows:

1. Avoidance of Manual Handling

Each employer shall, so far as is reasonably practicable, avoid the need for his employees to undertake any manual handling operations at work which involve a risk of their being injured.

Where it is not reasonably practicable to avoid such a need, the employer must do each of the following:

2. Assessment of Risks

The employer shall make a suitable and sufficient assessment of all such manual handling operations. This will include reference to four main elements:



      Working Environment

      Individual Capability

3. Reduction of Risks

The employer shall take appropriate steps to reduce the risk of injury to employees, rising out of their undertaking such manual handling operations, to the lowest level reasonably practicable. As with assessment, a structured approach should be adopted, with reference to the same four elements.

4. Provision of Information On the Load

The employer shall take appropriate steps to provide any of those employees who are undertaking manual handling operations, with general indications and (where it is reasonably practicable) precise information on:


In addition, the employee must also undertake the following:

5. Review of Risk Assessments

Any risk assessment must be reviewed by the employer who made it if:


Where as a result of a review, changes to an assessment are required, the relevant employer must make them.

And SECTION 2(1)2(2) © OF HASAWA 1974 states that

"It is the duty of the employer to ensure as far as is reasonably practicable the health, safety and welfare at work of all employees".

And in pursuit of this the employer must provide:

"..such information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure as far as is reasonably practicable the health and safety at work of his employees".


The employee’s responsibilities for manual handling of loads are contained in REGULATION 5 OF THE EUROPEAN DIRECTIVE. Employees must:

"Make full and proper use of any system of work provided for his use by his employer, in compliance with Reg. 4b (ii) of these regulations"

THE MANAGEMENT OF HEALTH AND SAFETY AT WORK 1992 REG. 12 states that employees must do the following:

"Generally to make use of appropriate equipment provided for them, in accordance with their training and the instructions the employer has given them. Such equipment will include machinery and other aids provided for the safe handling of loads"

Also SECTION 7 OF HASAWA 1974 states that:

"it is the duty of every employee while at work to take reasonable care of the health and safety of himself and of other persons who may be affected by his acts or omissions".


"to co-operate with the employer to enable him to comply with his health and safety duties".



THE REPORTING OF INJURIES, DISEASES AND DANGEROUS OCCURRENCES REGULATIONS 1995 (R.I.D.D.O.R.) requires employers to report all fatal and specified major injure is to any person, any injury that results in the inability of an employee to work for more than three days, or any injury which results in a person being admitted in to hospital for more than 24 hours. (Detailed guidance may be found in guidance booklet HS(R)23.). Not only does this action ensure compliance with regulations, it also prompts remedial action to prevent a possible reoccurrence of the accident. For information relating to your workplace, see your employer’s policy.

In addition, REGULATION 25 OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY (CLAIMS AND PAYMENTS) REGULATIONS 1975 requires an accident book (Form B1510 or something similar) to be kept by certain occupiers of premises, including any premises where ten or more people are employed at the same time. The book must be kept where any employee can easily get to it at all reasonable times. Additional arrangements may need to be made where staff may sustain accidents away from their employer’s premises.

Employers and managers must investigate the cause of an accident and record anything which may be different from what has been stated in the accident report. When full, the book must be kept for 3 years from the date of the last entry.

Safety representatives are entitled to inspect documents and to be provided with information



Social Security law requires employees to inform their employer as soon as possible after an accident at work. The employee has the right to make an entry in the accident book personally or by asking someone to do it on his/her behalf. Recording of the accident in the accident book fulfils the employee’s duty to report under the SOCIAL SECURITY (CLAIMS AND PAYMENTS) REGULATIONS. If injury is not obvious but may cause ill effect later on, the employee should make an entry in the accident book and inform the local Department of Social Security Office.



There are four main pieces of legislation relating to load management.

  1. EC Manual Handling Regs. (European Directive 90/269 EEC) 1992
  2. Health and Safety at Work Act (HASAWA) 1974.
  3. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992.
  4. The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulation 1995 (R.I.D.D.O.R.)

Employers’ Responsibilities

Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, Reg. 2, employers are responsible for the health, welfare and safety of their employees, and must provide instruction, supervision and training for them.

EC Manual Handling Reg. 4 places responsibilities on the employer in the following areas:

  1. Avoidance of Manual Handling
  2. Assessment of risks
  3. Reduction of risks
  4. Provision of information on the load
  5. Review of Risk assessments.

Employees’ Responsibilities

Under the Heath and Safety at Work Act 1974, Section 7, the employee is responsible for his own health, safety and welfare and should co-operate with the employer to enable him to comply with his health and safety duties.

Under EC Manual Handling Reg. 5, the main responsibility of the employee is:

Under The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992, Reg 12, the responsibility of the employee is.

The Reporting of Injuries

The legal requirements for reporting injuries are contained in the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (R.I.D.D.O.R.) 1995, along with Social Security and Safety regulations. This legislation deals with:

  1. The types of injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences which must be reported.
  2. The use of accident books.
  3. The responsibilities for reporting injuries of both employers and employees.

It is important that wherever you are working you read through the local policy in relation to moving and handling

Now try the accompanying questions.

  1. What is the name of the regulation used to report accidents in the workplace.

  3. Name 3 other regulations that are relevant to Moving and Handling

  5. For what is the employee responsible in the 4 regulations

  7. For what is the employer responsible in the 4 regulations

  9. Give 2 reasons why it is important to report an accident/incident at work as soon as possible.

  11. Who is responsible for recording injuries sustained during Moving and Handling?

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These pages have been prepared by Colin Baker, Safety Co-ordinator.