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Manual Handling Operations Regulations

The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (as amended) (MHOR) define manual handling as:

"...any transporting or supporting of a load (including the lifting, putting down, pushing, pulling, carrying or moving thereof) by hand or bodily force".

Musculoskeletal disorders

Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSD or MSK) are the most commonly reported cause of occupational ill health in Great Britain. MSDs or MSKs account for 41% of all ill health cases and 34% of all working days lost due to ill health.

They include disorders of the back, upper limbs and lower limbs, the former two being the most common. MSDs are prevalent in all sectors but agriculture, fisheries, logistics and transport, construction and health and social care have significantly higher than average rates. Both physical and psychosocial factors can contribute to work-related MSDs, and they can be aggravated by people's activities outside work and their general health and fitness.

A pdf flyer of available guidance can be downloaded for free here opens in new window(PDF 373Kb)

HSE Training and Conferences available:

Watch the Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders Summitopens in new window

Manual Handling for Assessorsopens in new window

Ergonomics - an Introductionopens in new window

Upper Limb Disorders - Risk Assessment of Repetitive Tasks opens in new window

For more information and a full list of what training is available, visit the Health and Safety Laboratory opens in new window

Also available from the HSE:

Manual Handling

INDG269 Managing musculoskeletal disorders in checkout work: A brief guide (PDF) opens in new window

INDG171 Managing upper limb disorders in the workplace: A brief guide PDF (PDF) opens in new window

INDG439 Reducing manual handling risks in carpet retail (PDF) opens in new window

INDG398 Making the best use of lifting and handling aids (PDF) opens in new window

Online tutorial on how to use the Manual handling assessment chart (MAC) tool opens in new window

HSG196 Moving food and drinks: Manual handling solutions for the food and drinks industries (PDF) opens in new window

Roll cages and wheeled racksopens in new window

From our official publisher TSO

The Back Book (2nd edition)opens in new window

Get Back Active (video)opens in new window

Tackling Musculoskeletal problems (PDF) opens in new window

Neck Book (pack of 10)opens in new window

Whiplash Book (pack of 10)opens in new window

Arm Book (pack of 10)opens in new window

Hip & Knee Book (pack of 10)opens in new window


Picking up the pieces: Prevention of musculoskeletal disorders in the ceramics industry (PDF) opens in new window

General Guidance

Management of Health and Safety at Work opens in new window

Workplace Health, Safety and Welfare opens in new window