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The Health and Safety at Work Act (HASAW) 1974 places “a general duty on employers and employees/other regarding health and safety”.

Regulation 3(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 “requires that employers undertake suitable and sufficient assessment of risk to their employees” whilst at work.

Where the general risk assessment indicates the possibility of risks to employees from moving & handling of loads, the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (as Amended) will apply. These regulations were made under the HASAW act and implement European Directive 90/269/EEC on the manual handling of loads.


The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 were amended by the Health and Safety Regulations 2002; L23 sets out the HSE revised guidance. These factors in annex II of the Directives are that a worker may be at risk if he/she:

  • Is physically unsuited to carry out the task in question
  • Is wearing unsuitable clothing, footwear or other personal effects
  • Does not have adequate or appropriate knowledge or training


The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 give guidance on maintenance and use of work equipment.

The Reporting of Injuries, Disease and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 1995 set out the legal requirements for reporting accidents, incidents, near misses and specific musculoskeletal disorders.

In addition to the above legislation under the Disability Discrimination Act 2007 are “to make reasonable adjustments for employees with disabilities”, as well as the requirements under the Human Rights Act 1998.