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Manual Tasks

Manual tasks are activities that involve lifting, pushing, pulling or carrying and are repetitive or result in sudden impact.

These activities can be hazardous and unsafe handling can lead to injury.

The risks of manual tasks and handling must be assessed and managed:

  • If the item cannot be moved safely – don’t move it.
  • Use mechanical aids to help move, lift or carry items.
  • Consider if items can be broken down to be more manageable.
  • Avoid steps and stairs – use lifts and level access points wherever possible.
  • Ensure people undertaking hazardous manual tasks are appropriately trained. Do not perform a hazardous manual task if you have not been trained appropriately or demonstrated competency.
  • Consider team lifting (don’t use people who may be predisposed to musculoskeletal injury, don’t do the move when the workplace is busy or crowded, all people to only lift within their capacity and safely)
  • Identify potential nip, pinch and crush risks – avoid putting body parts under suspended loads.
  • Avoid sustained awkward lifting positions or postures and excessive weight or sustained force.

Remember - hazardous manual tasks must only be performed by those appropriately trained and the risk must be assessed and managed. If the task is unsafe – don’t continue.


Training Resources:

The University subscribes to Safety Hub. Videos are available specific to manual handling

External providers can offer training on campus if determined after a risk assessment is conducted

Risk Assessment

A Risk Assessment is a simple tool to look at an activity such as a task, project or event to identify health and safety risks that are likely to pose a threat t a person's safety or impact on operations of the University and to establish appropriate risk controls to minimise harm.

The University Project/Task Risk Assessment Procedure (PDF 387.6 KB) provides guidance on the minimum requirements for University of Tasmania staff and students to follow when planning an activity (both on and off campus) so that work health safety risks are managed.