Is there a guide to help with manual handling assessments?

Is there a guide to help with manual handling assessments?

HSE have produced the manual handling assessment chart (MAC) to assist employers with their manual handling assessments. The following information has been taken from the leaflet Manual handling assessment charts (INDG383):

Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), including manual handling injuries, are the most common type of occupational ill health in the UK and their prevention is a priority for HSC/E. It is important to remember that:

	things can be done to prevent MSDs;

	preventative measures are cost-effective;

	all MSDs cannot be prevented; so early reporting of symptoms, proper treatment and suitable rehabilitation is essential.

The steps to follow

The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (as amended) establish a clear hierarchy of measures for dealing with risks from manual handling.

These are:

	avoid hazardous manual handling operations so far as reasonably practicable;

	assess any hazardous manual handling operations that cannot be avoided; and

	reduce the risk of injury so far as reasonably practicable.


The Manual Handling Assessment Charts (MAC) is a new tool designed to help health and safety inspectors assess the most common risk factors in lifting (and lowering), carrying and team handling operations. Employers, safety officers, safety representatives and others may also find the MAC useful to identify high-risk manual handling operations and help them complete their risk assessments.

Structure of the MAC

There are three types of assessment that can be carried out with the MAC:

	lifting operations;

	carrying operations;

	team handling operations.

For each type of assessment there is an assessment guide and a flowchart.


The MAC is not appropriate for some manual handling operations, for example those that involve pushing and pulling. Its use does not comprise a full risk assessment (for advice on how to do a full assessment, see L23 Manual handling). You must consider individual and psychosocial issues when completing the score sheet. Also, the MAC is not designed to assess risks from workplace upper limb disorders.

The MAC tool can be found on the [HSE website]( Copies of INDG383 are available from HSE Books.