Identify legislation that relates to moving and handling

This page is designed to answer the following questions:

NOTE: This page has been quality assured for 2021 as per our Quality Assurance policy.

Moving and handling is a key part of the day-to-day role of a health and social care worker and can refer to the handling and movement of objects, equipment and people. However, when referring to individuals, it is more dignified, respectful and professional to use the terms ‘transferring’ and ‘repositioning‘.

Incorrect practice can lead to accidents and injuries as well as discomfort and a lack of dignity for individuals that are being moved. It can also result in the law being broken, so it is important to have an understanding of the various legislation and regulations that are designed to ensure good manual handling practice.

The key pieces of legislation that relate to assisting, moving and handling are:

  • Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
    • A general framework to ensure health, safety and wellbeing in the workplace
    • Defines the roles and responsibilities of employers and employees
    • Several additional regulations cover various specific aspects of health and safety
  • Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
    • Employers must perform risk assessments
    • Employers must provide health and safety information to employees
    • Employers must create agreed ways of working (policies and procedures) for employees to work in a safe manner
  • Manual Handling Operations Regulations (MHOR) 1992 (as amended 2002)
    • As far as possible, avoid any manual handling activity that is hazardous and could result in injury
    • Where it is not practical to avoid then risk assess and put measures in place to reduce or eliminate the risk of injury
    • Employers must provide all necessary equipment and training
    • Employees must do everything they can to keep themselves and others safe, attend training, only perform manual handling tasks that they have been trained in, adhere to policies, procedures and manufacturers instructions and report/record any hazardous activities.
  • Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) 1998
    • Employers must ensure all work equipment is safe to use and well-maintained
    • Employees must not use equipment that is defective and employers must arrange for it to be replaced or repaired
    • Employers must ensure all work equipment is suitable for the intended use and is only used by employees with the correct training
    • Employees must follow manufacturers instructions
    • Suitable health and safety measures should be put in place (e.g. warning signs)
  • Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) 1998
    • Lifting equipment should be installed correctly and be well-maintained, which includes regular recorded safety checks
    • Lifting equipment should only be used for its intended purpose
    • Lifting equipment should have warning labels and signs to show safe working loads
    • Lifting tasks must be performed by employees who are competent
    • Lifting tasks must be planned properly and carried out in a safe manner
    • Employees must not use equipment that is defective and employers must arrange for it to be replaced or repaired

Further information about moving and handling in a care setting can be found here.