General Policy
Health & Safety
Manual Handling Co-ordinator
Manual Handling Co-ordinator
Director of Estates, Facilities and Capital Services
01 February 2006
11 January 2019
02 January 2022

General Note

NHS Fife acknowledges and agrees with the importance of regular and timely review of policy statements and aims to review policies within the timescales set out.

New policies will be subject to a review date of no more than 1 year from the date of first issue.
Reviewed policies will have a review date set that is relevant to the content (advised by the author) but will be no longer than 3 years.

If a policy is past its review date then the content will remain extant until either such time as the policy review is complete and the new version published, or there are national policy or legislative changes


1.1. NHS Fife is conversant with its health and safety responsibilities as an employer and recognises the significant risks of musculoskeletal injury associated with manual handling activities.

1.2. NHS Fife aims to reduce the risk of injury to staff from hazardous manual handling in all but exceptional and life-threatening situations (Ref 6.1 Appendix 1). 

1.3. The “Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992” as amended requires managers to make a suitable and sufficient assessment of risks to the health and safety of their employees while at work. NHS Fife will develop and implement manual handling risk management systems, which eliminate the risk of musculoskeletal injury, whenever practical or reasonable. Where risk cannot be eliminated completely, it will be reduced to an acceptable level.

1.4. The function of this policy is to ensure that the organisation is supported in achieving risk reduction measures to minimise the risk of musculoskeletal injury to all staff.


2.1. Location

2.1.1. The policy applies across all areas where NHS Fife and Fife H&SCP staff provide clinical care and interventions, including healthcare premises and care delivered in a domiciliary setting or private healthcare facility

2.2. Scope

2.2.1. This policy is applicable to all staff and by agreement, contractors working within NHS Fife.


3.1. NHS Fife Board

3.1.1. Fife NHS Board is ultimately responsible for all aspects of manual handling risk management.  Board members have corporate responsibility for health and safety and they are assured of this through the Chief Executive and the Director of Estates, Facilities and Capital Services.

3.2. Senior and Line Managers

3.2.1.  Senior and line managers are responsible for;

3.2.2. Ensuring all staff receive appropriate manual handling training in line with job role, as appropriate, as part of their induction process.

3.2.3. Utilising the KSF, PDP, and revalidation processes to regularly identify and review individual learning and development needs. This will ensure all staff receive appropriate information, instruction, training and supervision in manual handling activities and the use of manual handling equipment and monitor the application of learning in the workplace.

3.2.4. The development and review of manual handling task specific risk assessment for their area, and where necessary, ensure adequate control measures are identified and implemented.

3.2.5. Providing safe and suitable manual handling equipment; ensuring the safe use of equipment where provided; confirming and implementing a procedure for cleaning whilst ensuring compliance with the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER)  for 6 monthly examination and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment 1998 (PUWER) for annual servicing.

3.2.6. Retaining an accurate manual handling equipment inventory and updating this when equipment is purchased or condemned. 

3.2.7. Monitoring the reporting of accidents, incidents and near misses via Datix reporting system in order to establish patterns which will assist in the review and development of training content.  Undertaking investigations into manual handling related accidents, incidents and near misses in order to establish root cause and to review control measures accordingly. Assistance with incident investigation and root cause analysis may be obtained from the Manual Handling team. 

3.2.8. Monitoring trends of sickness absence relating to manual handling activities.

3.2.9. Maintaining accurate records of your staffs’ attendance at mandatory manual handling training.

3.2.10. Support at corporate, managerial and clinical levels.

3.2.11. On recruitment of new employees obtain information on previous manual handling training to allow each individual’s manual handling training requirements to be assessed by the manual handling practitioners.

3.2.12. All staff recruited from participating boards who can evidence previous manual handling education in line with the Scottish Manual Handling Passport Scheme will bypass manual handling induction training and will have their manual handling competencies checked at departmental level by their local manager. The induction checklist documents must be used (Ref 6.3 Appendix 3).

3.2.13. All departments should establish manual handling core competencies for individuals to use to identify any outstanding training need in conjunction with the self assessment document.

3.2.14. Ensuring that existing risk assessments are reviewed or an employee specific risk assessment is competed where a manual handling injury has been reported or other manual handling incident has occurred

3.3. Employees

3.3.1. All employees are responsible for:

3.3.2. The implementation of manual handling risk reduction measures in accordance with current best practice as taught during manual handling practical training and e-learning theory and to demonstrate awareness of this policy.

3.3.3. Complying with manual handling related local procedures and safe systems of work.

3.3.4. Assessing the risks prior to all manual handling manoeuvres and recording this on the ‘client handling risk assessment form’.  Guidance may be sought from the Manual Handling Co-ordinator.

3.3.5. Utilising the KSF PDP & Revalidation processes to identify and review the learning and development needs required of their role, undertaking appropriate manual handling training and apply the skills and knowledge acquired in the workplace.

3.3.6. Making full and safe use of manual handling equipment provided, in accordance with training, instruction and manufacturers guidance.

3.3.7. Informing their Manager of any shortcomings in existing manual handling arrangements which present a serious or imminent risk of danger.  Reporting manual handling equipment defects to the Estates Department and ensuring that equipment is marked as unsuitable and is removed from use until repaired or replaced.

3.3.8. Advise their manager with regards to any injury or health condition, which may affect their ability to perform manual-handling tasks safely. The line manager will, with consent of the employee, refer them to Occupational Health for assessment. Employees may also self refer.

3.3.9. Reporting all manual handling incidents, accidents or near misses that occur via the Datix reporting system.

3.3.10. Liaising with the clinical lead for Fife Community Equipment Partnership regarding issues with manual handling equipment in the community.

3.4. Manual Handling Team

3.4.1. As part of the Health and Safety Team, the Manual Handling Team consists of a Manual Handling Co-ordinator and Practitioners.  The Manual Handling Co-ordinator and practitioners are the main sources of manual handling advice and guidance and oversee the implementation of the manual handling strategy whilst working collaboratively with risk management and Health and Safety.

Appendix 1 - Exceptional and Life Threatening Situations

Appendix 2 - Controversial Techniques

Appendix 3 - Induction Assessment Flow Chart

Appendix 4 - Additional Risk Assessment Forms

Appendix 5 - Manual Handling Training

Appendix 6 - Procedure for the Safer Handling of the Heavier/Plus Size Patient