When working in the healthcare industry, employers often require proof of manual handling course training. Manual handling is the use of force exerted by a person to lift, move, push, pull, or carry people and equipment. Due to the regular handling of patients, manual handling in healthcare is a common workplace injury.

By identifying potential hazards, assessing risks, reducing risks, and regularly reviewing risk controls, you can prevent manual handling injuries.

Hazard Identification

Hazard sign

In every workplace, there are various factors that may increase the risk of injury. Take the time to identify any hazards and practise the following measures:

  • Walk through the workplace and look for potential hazards
  • Communicate with fellow staff members and discuss risk factors
  • Analyse workplace injury records to pinpoint recurring problems
  • Review client assessments to understand any behavioural or medical history.

Risk Assessment


Once you have identified any workplace hazards, assess which factors are contributing to the risk of injury. Evaluate the likelihood of injury, and categorise these factors into extreme, high, medium, and low.


Consider factors like the layout of your workplace—perhaps any furniture or spaces that are a risk—and the location of an object or patient who may have to be lifted or moved. A poorly designed or cramped workspace can lead to injury.

Work Practices

Familiarise yourself with staff training, staff numbers, and the type of work you’ll be doing, especially if you’ll be in a fixed posture for a long period of time. Understand the required duration and frequency of manual handling for each patient.

Patient’s Ability to Assist

Be aware of any cognitive, physical, or behavioural signs from your patient that could pose a risk when manual handling in healthcare environments. By understanding risks like weight and patient condition, you can help to prevent sprains and other injuries.

Risk Reduction

The next step is to implement new tactics to control the risk of manual handling injuries. If you are unable to eliminate a high-risk activity, find a way to minimise potential injury. You can reduce workplace risks by changing the following:

  • Task – Ask yourself if the task is necessary, or if it has to be done a particular way.
  • Workspace – Ensure furniture, beds, and equipment are in prime locations and at optimum heights. Use mechanical aids for assistance, if possible.
  • Nature of the work – Take frequent breaks and switch up your tasks. Ask for support from fellow staff when needed.
  • Training – Inexperienced workers are more likely to be injured, so take a manual handling course before commencing work. Follow key principles for correct lifting and handling posture.

Review Risk Controls

Male nurse

Your workplace should be regularly monitoring and reviewing the risk control tactics in place. For any manual handling controls that are proving inefficient, revise and alter them accordingly.

If you are looking to work in the healthcare industry, MyPath’s Manual Handling Course for Healthcare will give you the necessary skills to prevent injury in the workplace. Enrol with us today!