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Free Manual Handling Procedure Template

Download our free Manual Handling Procedure Template:

*For internal use only. Not for resale or redistribution. By downloading, you agree to our Free Resources Licensing Agreement.

Manual Handling Procedure TemplatePurpose of Document

A Manual Handling Procedure establishes guidelines for ensuring manual handling and ergonomic risks are managed in the workplace. The key objective is to ensure workers are protected from illness or injury posed by hazardous manual tasks or poor ergonomics. This procedure is broadly aligned with the requirements of AS/NZS 45001:2018.

How to Use

This Manual Handling Procedure should be saved on your server and continually reviewed / updated. It should also be communicated to new workers as part of their induction or onboarding process. This document is a template only and it should be customised for your business ensuring that:

  • Workplace specific risks are identified and managed, and
  • Workers are consulted with during the customisation / review process.

When to Use

As stated above, this document should be made available to your staff and managers via your server, onedrive or intranet. You should also use it during employee inductions or you may wish to refresh your workers on the contents of the procedure periodically as part of a safety meeting or similar forum.

Who Should Use

This procedure should be reviewed and updated by your Safety Advisor, Project Manager or other Manager. Supervisors or managers can use the procedure to communicate the requirements to workers (including new workers).

Legal Considerations

There is no specific legal requirement to have a documented Hygiene and Welfare Facilities Procedure. However, it is best practice, especially for larger companies. It can help meet general legal duties, including:

  • s(19)(3)c WHS Act – Duty to Provide Safe Systems of Work
  • s(60) WHS  Regulations – Managing Risks to Health and Safety (Hazardous Manual Tasks)


What is manual handling?

Manual handling refers to tasks that involve the use of physical force by an individual to lift, lower, push, pull, carry, or otherwise move, hold, or restrain an object or person.

How can manual handling injuries be prevented?

Manual handling hazards should be controlled in accordance with the hierarchy of controls, with higher levels used if possible:

  • Elimination – e.g. Eliminate the need to manual handle
  • Substitute – e.g. Use a safer method of work
  • Isolation – e.g. NA
  • Engineering – e.g. Mechanical aids (pallet jacks or trolleys)
  • Administration – e.g. Training and work procedures
  • PPE – e.g. NA

The goal should be to “design out” the risk through workplace alterations or mechanical / engineering aids. For the remaining manual handling hazards, risk assessments should be conducted (in consultation with workers) to determine how best to minimize the risks.

How heavy is too heavy, legally?

Neither the Act, Regulations or Code of Practice give a firm limit for what is “too heavy”. What is too heavy for one person might be OK for another, and vice versa. Workplaces should focus on reducing weight as far as possible and attempt to design out or provide engineering / mechanical aids.

Article Sources and Further Reading

  1. Hazardous Manual Tasks Code of Practice (Safe Work Australia) <>
  2. Manual Handling Training (Spire Safety) <>
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