Section 2: Manual Handling

Manual Handling is the moving of items either by lifting, lowering, carrying, pushing or pulling with bodily force. Incorrect Manual Handling is one of the most common causes of injury and results from:

  • Applying force to move a load
  • Making repetitive movements
  • Having poor posture while manually handling a load


As the Volunteer or Employee you must:

  • Safeguard your Health and Safety and that of others around you by ensuring you use equipment as it is meant to be used.
  • Cooperate and support your Trading Company to comply with legal duties. Even though we are all friends and family, the law still views us as “The Public” so all business laws apply.
  • Inform the responsible person of any dangers of Health and Safety at the shop

If you are having symptoms in your body of tenderness, tingling, cramp, swelling, numbness and pains then it is possible you are injuring yourself doing manual handling and it must be reported and discussed with your shop manager.

Other injuries can include cuts or even crush injuries where loads are dropped.


Good Handling Techniques:

  • Check the load before lifting. This could be done by rocking it to get a feel for the weight, or check the weight information on the box
  • Apply gradual force when lifting


Check the route you will be walking, for:

  • Any obstructions
  • Uneven or slippery surfaces
  • Variations in floor level
  • Cramped conditions


To lift a box/object by yourself or with someone else:

  • Don’t attempt to move an item if in doubt about your ability to handle it safely – rather ask for help
  • Crouch down by bending your knees, do not bend over
  • If possible, place your one foot in front of the other
  • Ensure you have a good grip and try avoiding getting a better grip until you are standing up straight
  • Hug the load as close as possible to your body
  • Try not to flex your back as you straighten up and keep your posture constant
  • Use your leg muscle to perform the lift
  • Avoid excessive distances between the load and your waist as this places greater stress on your lower back e.g. Carrying something hot or trying to prevent a dirty box messing up your clothes for instance
  • Avoid twisting your back or leaning sideways especially when your back is bent
  • Keep your shoulders level and facing the same direction as the hips
  • Turn by moving your feet – don’t twist
  • When precise positioning of a box is needed, first place it down before manoeuvering it into place
  • If you need to gain height, ensure the ladder or hop-up is in place before attempting to climb up with the load


When Pushing or pulling, always ensure:

  • The handles on the device should be between your shoulders and waist height
  • The device is fit for the purpose
  • Preferably push rather than pull
  • Keep your feet well away from the load
  • Don’t run, just move at walking speed
  • If there is a slope you may need help going up and down
  • Be aware of uneven ground. You might injure yourself if the load jolts or tips over


Once you have read the above content and are confident you understand it, please proceed to the next section.


Proceed to Section 3: COSHH


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