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Priory Woods School & Arts College

Priory Woods School & Arts College A Special Place to Learn

People Movement and Manual Handling Policy

Policy Statement

Priory Woods School & Arts College recognises its responsibility and aims to ensure that all reasonable precautions are taken to provide and maintain working conditions that are safe, healthy and compliant with all statutory requirements and codes of practice.

Manual handling is covered specifically by the following legislation:

(a) The Health and Safety at Work, etc Act 1974

(b) The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999

(c) The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992

(d) The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998.

The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 were the end result of a European directive, issued in 1990, and are firmly based on a "minimal handling" approach to manual handling. Under the Regulations, employers are required to avoid the need for employees to undertake any manual handling operations which involve a risk of their being injured and where such activities cannot be immediately eliminated a "suitable and sufficient assessment" of all such operations is mandatory. Having carried out this assessment, employers must take appropriate steps to reduce the risk of injury to the lowest level reasonably practicable.


Priory Woods School understands manual handling as the transporting or supporting of loads by hand or by bodily force either with or without mechanical help. This includes activities such as lifting, carrying, shoving, pushing, pulling, nudging and sliding heavy objects. It especially covers the lifting or moving of pupils.

As all of these manual handling activities obviously carry the risk of injury if they are not performed carefully, Priory Woods School & Arts College will take the following steps to ensure that its statutory duties to protect staff and pupils are met at all times.

  1. Each employee is given information, instruction and training as is necessary to enable safe manual handling.
  2. Processes and systems of work involving manual handling are assessed and properly supervised at all times.
  3. Processes and systems of work are designed to take account of manual handling.
  4. Ceiling hoists, mobile hoists, trolleys etc are available to keep manual handling to a minimum

 Risk assessments

  • A moving and handling risk assessment is undertaken on any pupil requiring significant help to move e.g. a pupil in a wheelchair, a pupil using a rolator.
  • The member of staff carrying out this risk assessment is trained for this and works in consultation with the occupational therapist and the physiotherapist.
  • A care plan is written and available to all members of staff with responsibility for moving and handling the person. Staff are expected to follow the care plan at all times.
  • Two people fully trained in safe handling techniques and the equipment to be used should always be involved in the provision of care when the need is identified from the manual handling risk assessment.
  • Staff should carry out ongoing risk assessment for each manual handling task. They should look for risk of injury and try to minimise any risk e.g. can equipment be used instead, changing the task to minimise the risk or altering the working environment to make manual handling less awkward.
  • Staff should never, in any circumstances, attempt to lift a pupil or a weight where they believe that there is a significant risk of injury involved.

Duties on Staff and Employees

The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 set out an obligation upon employees to make full use of systems of work laid down for their safety in manual handling operations. This is in addition to their obligations under other health and safety legislation including making proper use of equipment provided for their safety. To conform to the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992, this organisation requires its staff to adopt the following three-stage model.

1. Staff should avoid hazardous manual handling as far as is reasonably practical.

2. Where hazardous manual handling cannot be avoided, staff should assess the

    risk first.

3. Depending on the result of the assessment, staff should reduce the risk

    involved to the lowest level reasonably practicable.

It is also the policy of this organisation that, under section 7 of the Health and Safety at Work, Act 1974, it is the responsibility of every employee at work to;

  • take reasonable care of their own health and safety and those of any other person who may be affected by their acts or omissions at work
  • take reasonable care for their own safety, and that of others when carrying out moving and handling and attend training as required by their employer
  • read/review the risk assessment and moving and handling plan every time they attend to an individual and after every risk assessment review. All individuals must sign to say they have seen the risk assessment and agree to it
  • use moving and handling equipment and techniques in accordance with training and written instructions received from nominated professional and manufacturer’s instructions
  • observe the principles of manual handling and use the equipment provided in accordance with instructions
  • wear appropriate clothing and footwear that do not constrain movement/posture when moving and handling and should use the personal protective equipment provided by the organisation
  • comply with the infection control policy and procedures relevant to the organisation
  • report to their manager/supervisor if they are not sure of any moving and handling procedure, consider any task too difficult or if it is likely to pose a risk of injury
  • alert managers to the need for review of the risk assessment, equipment or further training
  • report all incidents or near misses arising from moving and handling in line with the organisations incident/accident reporting procedure

The successful implementation of this policy requires total commitment from all employees.

Staff injured at work

Manual handling accidents are covered by the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR).

 According to RIDDOR, all manual handling accidents and injuries should be recorded and also reported to the HSE, especially if they result in staff being off work for seven days or more or involve faulty equipment. The DHT is responsible for the implementation of this policy.

Lifting equipment

Manual handling equipment provided e.g. hoists and pneumatic beds are regularly inspected and maintained. Records of all such equipment and their maintenance schedules are kept in the main office.


  • New staff, as part of their induction training, are required to read the policies on Health and Safety and Manual Handling
  • All teachers, teaching assistants and care assistants are required to complete a basic/refresher course in people moving and/or manual handling.
  • Training on the use of hoists is carried out by peers. New staff are supervised when using hoists until they are confident and competent in their use.
  • Staff helping to carry out risk assessments, in consultation with the occupational therapist and physiotherapist, are trained to a higher level and have a Train the Trainers Certificate in manual lifting and this training is refreshed as appropriate.