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There is a legal requirement for all employers to ensure that assessments of health and safety, risks to employees and the organisation are carried out.

The specific legislation which creates this requirement for moving & handling for patients and objects includes:

  • The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
  • Manual Handling Operations Regulations (MHOR) 1992. (as amended)
  • Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER)
  • Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
  • Workplace (health Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 (as amended)
  • Health and Safety Display Screen Equipment Regulations 1992 (DSE)


Each Manager must ensure that a full and sufficient risk assessment of moving and handling activities within their department is carried out by a competent local risk assessor who has attended appropriate risk assessment training, and uses the Trust‘s Risk Assessment Tool.(RAT)

Where this general assessment indicates the possibility of risks to employees from moving and handling of patients and objects, there should be compliance with the requirements of the Manual Handling Operations Regulations (MHOR) 1992.

The MHOR sets out a hierarchy of measures that should be followed to reduce the risk from moving & handling. The measures are:

AVOID “hazardous moving and handling operations, so far as is reasonably practicable. Consider whether the operation that cannot be avoided by elimination, automation or mechanisation”.

ASSESS “any hazardous moving and handling operation that cannot be avoided. Make suitable and sufficient assessment of all such moving and handling operations to be undertaken by employees”. Assess with regards to the:

  • Task
  • Individual
  • Load
  • Environment
  • Equipment


REDUCE “the risk of injury, so far as is reasonably practicable. Give general indications and, where reasonably practicable, precise information on the weight of each load, and the heaviest side of any load whose centre of gravity is not positioned centrally”.

REVIEW periodically or if there is any change.

Patient specific moving and handling risk assessments. Must be completed within six hours of admission by the relevant clinician. The ‘People Moving and Handling Assessment Form’ is part of the standard nursing documentation pack.

A more detailed assessment may be required in collaboration with the Moving and Handling Team to ensure that sufficient control measures are in place. Details of how to contact the moving and handling team are located in the moving and handling procedures document

Risk assessments will embrace all patient moving and handling, and hazardous object handling, to include pushing and pulling.

Recommendations and an action plan will be agreed with the Manager and timescales set including a review date. Responsibility lies with the manager to ensure that this happens.

Moving and Handling risk assessments / task analysis are carried out for staff in collaboration with Occupational Health Team.

The arrangements for undertaking moving & handling risk assessments are clearly laid out in the Moving and Handling Procedures Document section 4. (Safe systems of work section 6.8 of the procedures document viewed on the moving & handling intranet site).

Organisational overview of risk assessment is through the Health and Safety Forum quarterly. There is a separate forum for both the Ashford and St. Peters Site, which aims to be site specific, and the Health and Safety Committee quarterly to discuss issues raised at both Forums.

The Health and Safety Committee is responsible for discussing and highlighting risks relating to patients and objects. The Specialist Moving and Handling Advisor compiles a report to highlight moving and handling issues to the Health and Safety Committee.