What are the Dangers of Manual Handling?

There are many ways in which employees can injure themselves in the workplace. As employers we have a duty of care over our employees as well as ensuring they are safe in the workplace.

There are some key steps in preventing/reducing injuries in the workplace. These consist of:

Conducting Risk Assessments

Risk assessments are carried out to formally identify hazards or risks within a workplace which put persons at risk. In turn, this helps employers put into place appropriate measures to protect persons from harm. Another one of the main importance behind them, is that they are a legal requirement!


Educating employees of hazards

As an employer you must ensure all employees are trained and competent in what they are doing within the workplace. This includes ensuring all persons within the workplace are kept up to date with any changes in the workplace.


Equipment/machinery checks

Equipment should be checked before every use to ensure it’s safe to use, as well as this it should have checks in-line with the manufacturer’s guidelines. A typical example of this is power tools in the workplace such as construction sites, the sorts of things that are checked prior to every use include:

  • Casing free of damage such as cracks etc
  • Cables in good condition
  • Plug prongues not bent!
  • PAT test record

If any issues arise following pre-use checks, then it SHOULDN’T be used!


As an employer, you have a legal duty to ensure you provide all employees with the PPE required to carry out their job. This in turn helps reduces accidents, incidents, and near misses. Examples of PPE are:

  • Hard hat
  • Steel toe cap boots with a mid-sole
  • High vis
  • Protective glasses
  • Ear plugs

General house keeping

One of the most common causes of accidents is when house keeping in the workplace isn’t to an acceptable standard. An example of this is when cables are left on the floor on construction sites which can cause slips, trips, and falls. To prevent this, we need to educate our employees on the importance of good housekeeping.



Employers must provide safety signage if there is a risk that can’t be avoided or controlled in any other way possible. This can be through safe systems of work or engineering controls. An example of this is using signs such as Caution, hot water signs for hot water taps.

With signages installed, you must ensure as an employer that you check that all staff understand different safety signages around the workplace. This in turn helps reduce the chances of accidents, incidents, and near misses in the workplace.