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Free Manual Handling Risk Assessment Template

Download our free Manual Handling Risk Assessment Template:

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

Manual handling risk assessmentPurpose of Document

Manual handling risk assessment templates are used to identify and assess the risks of manual handling. The primary goal is to protect workers from injury or illness through effective hazard identification and risk assessment processes. This form is broadly aligned with AS45001:2018.

How to Use

This risk assessment should be completed by a competent person in consultation with workers who complete the task.

This document is a template only and it must be customised for your business. Other aspects that may need to be considered include, but are not limited to, ensuring that:

  • Relevant legal requirements have been met,
  • Workplace specific risks are identified and managed, and
  • Workers are consulted with during the customisation / review process.

When to Use

Risk assessments should be completed prior to the manual handling task being undertaken in your business.

Who Should Use

Risk assessments can be completed by your Safety Advisor, Project Manager or other competent person in your organisation. It should be completed in consultation with workers and other relevant personnel.

Legal Considerations

There is no specific legal requirement to complete a documented manual handling risk assessment. 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(34) WHS Regulations – Duty to Identify Hazards
  • s(60) WHS Regulations – Management of Risks of MSC Disorders Associated with Hazardous Manual Tasks

The Code of Practice “Hazardous manual tasks” also recommends the use of a documented hazard identification / risk assessment process.


What is manual handling?

Manual handling refers to the process of transporting or supporting loads by hand. It involves lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling, carrying, or moving objects manually. Manual handling tasks are common in various industries and everyday activities, such as lifting boxes, moving furniture, or carrying groceries.

What hazards are involved in manual handling?

Many hazards exist in manual handling, for example:

  • Repetitive strain injury (RSI)
  • Musculoskeletal injuries (MSC)
  • Hand injuries
  • Slips, trips and falls

Article Sources and Further Reading

  1. Model Code of Practice: Hazardous manual tasks (Safe Work Australia) <>
  2. Lifting, pushing and pulling (manual tasks) (Safe Work Australia) <>
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