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Manual handling - know your MSDs and ULDs...

Posted in Latest on May 30, 2019


Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), including manual handling injuries, are the most common type of occupational ill health in the UK. It is important to remember that:

  • there is a lot you can do to prevent them;
  • preventative measures are often simple and cost-effective;
  • you cannot prevent all MSDs, but where they occur, early reporting of symptoms, proper treatment and suitable rehabilitation are essential.

The Manual Handling Assessment Charts (MAC) is a tool aimed at employers, health and safety managers and safety representatives and is used by health and safety inspectors. The tool will help you assess the most common risk factors in lifting (and lowering), carrying and team handling operations and was developed to identify high-risk manual handling. It will point you towards the factors you need to modify to control these risks.

Download the HSE MAC Guide


Useful Manual Handling publications from HSE:

Manual Handling at Work – a brief guide

This publication is aimed at managers in SMEs. It explains the problems associated with manual handling and gives guidance on how to deal with them. The document gives useful practical advice on reducing the risk of injury from manual handling. It will help employers to implement their duties under the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992.


Managing Upper Limb Disorders in your Business – a brief guide for employers

This publication is aimed at employers and managers in small businesses. It explains what upper limb disorders (ULDs) (often called repetitive strain injury or RSI) are, their symptoms, how to manage the risks around them and what employers can do to help their employees.


Risk Assessment of Pushing and Pulling (RAPP) Tool

This new tool is aimed at those responsible for health and safety in workplaces – employers, managers and safety representatives.


Upper Limb Disorders in the Workplace

Upper limb disorders are a particular group of musculoskeletal ailments affecting the arm and neck. This revised and extensive guidance is addressed to managers with responsibility for workers at risk of developing such complaints and explains the - often hidden - hazards and risks and how to control them.

Commencing with a seven-step flow chart, the reader is guided smoothly through the document as it examines broader ergonomics and specifics such as repetitive work, postures, operations involving force, duration of exposure to certain processes, environmental and psychosocial factors and individual physiological differences. A very detailed study supported by case studies, risk filter worksheets and a multitude of diagrams, illustrations and easy-glance information tables. Also features a breakdown of legal requirements.


Manual handling – Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 – Guidance on Regulations

This guidance is mainly for employers, managers and safety representatives, but may also be useful for employees.


View our Workplace Safety courses