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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 (am 2006)
  • 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) (as amended 2002)


All inpatients must be assessed in relation to their moving and handling care status/needs within 6 hours of admission using the Moving and Care Handling Assessment Form. This form is located in the Adult Nursing Assessment Pack, this must be updated when/if there is a change in the patients mobility status

Outpatients must be asked to inform staff if they have a specific moving and handling care need before they come in for their appointment, in order for staff to prepare appropriately. This must be documented in the notes and disseminated to relevant parties

Each manager must ensure that a full and sufficient risk assessment of moving and handling activities within their department is carried out

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 and handling. The measures are:

  • AVOID “hazardous moving and handling operations, so far as is reasonably practicable. Consider whether the operation can 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

A more detailed assessment may be required in collaboration with the Moving and Handling Team to ensure that sufficient control measures are in place


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/Physiotherapist

The arrangements for undertaking moving & handling risk assessments are clearly laid out in the Moving and Handling Procedures Document section 4.

Organisational overview of risk assessment is through the Health and Safety Committee quarterly

The Specialist Moving and Handling Advisor compiles a report to highlight moving and handling issues to the Health and Safety Committee quarterly


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