Manual Handling - Lifting and Handling - Particular General Duties

Lifting and Handling: Particular General Duties


Compliance with any specific rules relating to the lifting and handling of loads does NOT of itself mean that the employer has fulfilled his particular general duties under the Health and Safety at Work Act that relate to such operations. These particular general duties are set out below:

Plant For Lifting, Handling And Carrying

The employer is obliged to provide plant (such as conveyors, lifts and lifting devices) that is, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health as regards his employees. Additionally, he is required to maintain such plant so that it remains, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health as regards his employees;

Systems of Work that involves Lifting, Handling and Carrying

Any systems of work provided should be, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health as regards his employees. These systems need to be maintained so that they remain, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health as regards his employees.

Safe Lifting, Handling And Carrying Of Articles

Arrangements should be made for ensuring, so far as is reasonably practicable, safety and the absence of risks to health in connection with the use, handling, storage and transport of articles.

Safe Lifting, Handling and Carrying of Substances

The employer should put in place arrangements for ensuring, so far as is reasonably practicable, safety and the absence of risks to health in connection with the use, handling, storage and transport of substances.

Information about Risks of Lifting, Handling and Carrying

The Employer has a duty to provide such information as may be necessary to employees or to any other person as is necessary to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety at work of his employees.

Instructions on Avoiding Risks of Lifting, Handling and Carrying

The Employer also has a duty to provide such instruction as may be necessary to employees or to any other person as is necessary to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety at work of his employees.

Training to avoid Risks of Lifting, Handling and Carrying

There should be provided such training as may be necessary to employees or to any other person as is necessary to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety at work of his employees;

Supervision to Avoid Risks of Lifting, Handling and Carrying

The minimum amount of supervision must be provided as may be necessary to employees or to any other person as is necessary to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety at work of his employees.

Maintaining Workplace so that Lifting, Handling and Carrying can be Done Safely

The workplace should be kept in such a manner as to maintain it, so far as is reasonably practicable, in a condition that is safe and without risks to health as regards his employees.

In addition, it should be designed to provide, so far as is reasonably practicable, means of access to and egress from any place of work under the employer's control that are safe and without risks to health as regards his employees.

Ensuring that Overcrowding, Poor Lighting and Other Work Environment Factors do not Make Lifting, Handling and Carrying Operations Unsafe

The working environment provided for his employees must be, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health.

To comply with these particular general duties it may be necessary to do more than is required by specific rules. It is necessary to do more if the cost, time and effort of doing more is justified for achieving a greater reduction of a risk than can be achieved by merely complying with specific rules.

Example:

The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 are designed to protect people who do the lifting and handling of loads. However, the particular general duties have both this aim and the aim of protecting employees who may be at risk from manual handling of loads by others. Thus, when assessing manual handling risks employers need to go further than the requirements of the Manual Handling Regulations and control risks not only to the person who, say, intends to push a fully-loaded filing cabinet to the room next door but to the staff onto whom the cabinet could topple. In such circumstances, fulfilment of particular general duties may require the operation to be carried out when no-one else is in the workplace (so than only property could be damaged) or by first emptying all the filing drawers (so that anybody knocked by the far lighter cabinet is much less likely to be harmed).

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