The most common cause of injuries and accidents at work is manual handling. Risk factors can be broken down into: task, load, individual and environment. There are a number of considerations when assessing the effect of environment on manual handling.

  • Is there sufficient space for the task to be carried out safely? What can be done to improve the space available to the handling operation? Can transfers from one storage device to another be facilitated by moving both receptacles?
  • If the handling involves moving along a route, is that route clean and clear? Remove any hazards and clean up any spillages. Can doors be held open, and, if those doors are fire doors, will they be closed immediately after the task is completed?
  • Avoid manual handling on slopes. Use levelling devices where necessary and make sure they are in good working order. Check for any uneven floor surfaces.
  • Is the temperature too hot or too cold for the manual handling operation to be carried out in comfort and safety? Is there a risk from wind or other air movement? Is the lighting adequate? Are there extremes of lighting, e.g. glare and shadow?
  • All environmental hazards affecting manual handling processes must be reported as soon as possible and steps taken to minimise or eliminate the risk.

Manual Handling e-learning and onsite training from Cardinus encourages measurable behaviour change from your employees. The optional self-assessment will help you identify which of your employees are most at risk of injury. Call 020 7469 0200 or email

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