Explain principles and demonstrate how to move and handle equipment and other objects safely

This page is designed to answer the following questions:

As a health and social care worker, you should be able to both explain the principles of and demonstrate how to safely move and handle equipment and objects.

Some tasks you should only perform if you have had sufficient training, particularly when moving and handling people.

You should also ensure that you follow your employer’s documented procedures and agreed ways of working.

You should always plan before moving a load. Think about where you are moving it to and ensure there is enough space. For example, if you are lifting a box onto a table, make sure that the table is clear first. If you are carrying an object from one area to another, ensure the route is clear.

Be realistic about your own capabilities. Assess the weight of the object. Never try to carry something that is too heavy or too bulky for you to transport safely. Enlist the help of others or use lifting/carrying equipment (if you have been trained how to use them).

Where possible lift and lower from and to waist level (e,g, from a table) rather than floor level or above shoulder height.

Before lifting, adopt a stable position with your feet about shoulder width apart and one foot slightly forward to maintain balance. Do not bend your back or twist/stoop. Bend your legs and lift from the knees.

Example question and answer

You have been asked to prepare three hand outs for new staff attending an induction. The hand outs are to provide information on the following topics.

Hand out 1 – Moving and handling

This hand out must include:

Ci   A description of the main points of health and safety legislation that relates to moving and handling.

Cii Explanations of:
a) How following principles for safe moving and handling protects those in social care setting from injury or harm.
b) The consequences of not following an individual’s care plan or engaging with them when assisting moving and handling.
c) Situations that may require additional supports necessary for safer moving and handling.

MOVING & HANDLING for Inductees

This handout provides information to new staff about the importance of moving and handling correctly.


As well as the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999, there is additional legislation governing moving and handling.

The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992/2002 explains how to avoid, assess and reduce risk of injury from manual handling.

The Lifting Operations & Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 is a code of practice that applies to the use of lifting equipment.


The purpose of this legislation together with company policies is to protect everybody from harm or injury that could be caused from incorrect moving and handling.

By following the principles of safe moving and handling you will minimise risk of injury, be able to identify potential hazards and work with others to develop safer ways of working, which will protect everybody in your setting. You will also be able to identify areas where you or others may need additional training, such as how to use a piece of equipment safely.


If you do not follow an individual’s care plan or do not engage with them when assisting moving and handling, you could cause harm or injury to them or yourself. This could also lead to disciplinary action, dismissal or legal action.

Their care plan has been meticulously written to ensure that procedures are carried out in the safest way possible and cutting corners increase the risk of harm.

If you do not work in partnership with the individual in assisted moving/handling, they will not know what it is that you are doing and what they can do to help. It can also cause them anxiety. All individuals have the right to be involved in all aspects of their care and to have their needs and preferences respected. Failure to do so can result in a breakdown of the relationship you have with them and their refusal to work with you as well as it being against the law.

Additional Support

Certain situations may require additional support for moving and handling from others or from equipment.

Some items may be too heavy to move easily or too bulky, awkward or unstable.

The environment may be cramped or have insufficient room to manoeuvre.

You may not have the correct equipment, the equipment may not work correctly or you have not had the training to use the equipment.