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Manual handling health and safety checklist.

5 minutes to read

A recent study found that manual handling causes over a third of workplace injuries. These types of injuries can have severe implications for both your business and the person who has been injured.

To prevent injuries from happening in your workplace, there are specific protocols you and your employees need to follow.

This article features a checklist for health and safety manual handling.

What needs to be considered in any lifting activity?

There are many different manual handling activities your employees may take on. Some of these include lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling and carrying. 

However, any lifting activity has individual circumstances. Therefore, there are certain factors to consider, including:


Individual capability. 

Every employee is different. Some may be more physical and others may have health conditions. Before you delegate manual handling jobs, consider every employee's capabilities. This will reduce the risk of injury or other issues occurring.

The nature of the load. 

One load might be heavier than another. The next load could be an awkward shape and difficult to pick up. Depending on the nature of the load, you should decide whether an employee can handle it on their own or whether they might need support from a forklift truck.

Environmental conditions. 

Several environmental conditions must be considered before a manual handling activity occurs, including lighting, heating and slippery floors.


Manual handling training is a legal requirement in any situation where your staff are required to do any lifting, lowering, pulling or pushing that carries a level of risk. This training aims to ensure employees understand the hazards associated with manual handling and how to reduce the risk of injury.


Manual handling to use in your workplace.

As part of the manual handling training, you (or a specialist) provide to your employees, there are some techniques and protocols to educate them about. These include:

Think before lifting/handling.

Lifting should be planned carefully. Any obstructions should be moved out of the way and the lifter should clearly understand where the load will be placed. If the shipment is too heavy, ensure a forklift truck is available to provide support.

Always adopt a stable position.

Regardless of the weight of a load, the employee’s feet should away be apart, with one leg slightly forward to maintain balance. Stability is crucial when avoiding manual handling injuries.

Maintain a good posture. 

Employees can keep a good posture when handling a load in several ways. These include keeping the load close to the waist, avoiding twisting the back or leaning sideways and looking ahead at all times. Find out more about maintaining a good posture when handling goods here.


The role forklift trucks play in keeping your employees safe.

Although following specific protocols and implementing lifting techniques can make a difference, your business should eliminate manual handling where possible.

This can be done by investing in a fleet of forklift trucks. These trucks can take on all heavy lifting, allowing your employees to work on more business-critical tasks and increasing safety across your operation. 

Toyota’s forklift trucks are leading the way when it comes to safety. This is because all of our solutions are fitted with features that ensure your operation remains safe and compliant at all times. Some of these include:

  • Active mast control (AMC): AMC is a feature that aims to instantly recognise any dangerous tilt speeds and slow down the mast to prevent tip-overs from occurring.

  • Enhanced regenerative braking system: This feature ensures that as soon as an operator takes their foot off the accelerator, the forklift instantly stops.

  • Welded overhead guards: These guards protect operators from falling loads to prevent severe injuries.
  • I_Site: Our forklift telematics solution can offer increased safety and provide other benefits too. Find out what these include here.

Forklifts have a key role to play in achieving health and safety goals in a warehouse. However, it is important to keep in mind the importance of offering your operators the correct training. Not only can training improve health and safety, it can also reduce costs make your staff more productive. Discover the training we offer below.

Discover our training options