Safety, Health and Wellbeing

Manual handling policy

Our role is to develop and assist in the implementation of the UWA safety, health and wellbeing programs in order to minimise the risk of injury, illness and property damage.

We provide consultancy and other services to promote best practice and legislative compliance in all University and related activities.

Further information

Manual handling training courses

Training can be arranged and tailored for your work area. Contact UWA Safety and Health (+61) 8 6488 2784

Manual handling occurs in all workplaces and is one of the most costly and most common causes of injury.

The Occupational Safety and Health Regulation Part 3, Division 1, s3.4 1996 states:

(1) In this regulation —

"manual handling" means any activity requiring the use of force exerted by a person to lift, lower, push, pull, carry or otherwise move, hold or restrain a person, animal or thing.

(2) Without limiting regulation 3.1, a person who, at a workplace, is an employer, the main contractor or a self-employed person must, as far as practicable —

(a) identify each hazard that is likely to arise from manual handling at the workplace;

(b) assess the risk of injury or harm to a person resulting from each hazard, if any, identified under paragraph (a); and

(c) consider the means by which the risk may be reduced.

Penalty: $25 000.

Further to the above, WorkSafe Western Australia has published The Code of Practice Manual Handling which details how to go about fulfilling the legal requirement stated in the above regulation. That is, how to manage and reduce the risk of manual handling injuries.

Note that occupational overuse injuries are also classified as manual handling injuries.

UWA’s Requirements

  • By the end of 2003, Schools and Centres in which there has been a history of manual handling injury in the workplace (since 2000) must develop and document a manual handling risk management plan. This must be done in consultation with staff and Safety and Health Representative/s. The Occupational Therapist in the Safety and Health will assist with the development and implementation of these plans.

  • All staff must be trained in the appropriate manual handling techniques for the tasks that they are required to perform in their jobs.

  • All staff must work within their range of comfort and ability when undertaking manual handling tasks and not expose themselves or others to the risk of injury.

  • In situations in which staff are required to perform new or unfamiliar manual handling tasks, supervisors and managers must assess the risk and implement risk control strategies. For example, provision of training for staff who are required to assist with office relocation.

For further information, please contact the Occupational Therapist on (+61 8) 6488 2784.