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Manual Handling Policy

Policy Statement

Uniting Church SA is committed to providing a safe workplace and systems of work for all personnel. It recognises that the manual handling of materials, equipment and furniture within the workplace is potentially hazardous to health and safety.

Uniting Church SA acknowledges its obligations under the Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare Act 1986 and is committed to effective manual handling programs aimed at preventing the occurrence of injuries which result from workplace manual handling tasks.

Definition of Terms

“Manual Handling” is any activity requiring the use of force exerted by a person to lift, lower, push, pull, carry or otherwise move, hold or restrain any person, animal or thing.  


With respect to manual handling, Uniting Church SA will ensure that:  

  • the plant and equipment supplied by Uniting Church SA used in the workplace is designed, constructed and maintained; so far as is reasonably practicable; so they are safe and without risk to health and safety when handled manually;
  • work practices involving manual handling are designed, implemented and maintained; so far as is reasonably practicable; so they are safe and without risk to health and safety;
  • the working environment is designed, constructed and maintained; so far as is reasonably practicable; to be consistent with safe manual handling practices.


Manual handling will be a consideration in, and a specification for:

  • the design and redesign of workplaces, work practices, and plant and equipment;
  • the management of procurement in the purchase of all goods and services, and plant and equipment;
  • the review of existing workplaces, work practices, and plant and equipment;
  • the maintenance of workplaces, work practices, and plant and equipment;
  • continuing negotiations with workplace clients to ensure a safe work environment for personnel.

Uniting Church SA will ensure a risk assessment is completed by the task coordinator for each manual handling task, and control procedures are recommended for those presenting any risk.  Safe work practices based on these assessments and recommendations will then be determined, and implementation and training of staff with respect to these procedures will be conducted.  All assessments and work practices will be reviewed periodically.

To ensure the quality of the manual handling risk assessments Uniting Church SA have established a manual handling risk assessment checklist.  (This can be found at the end of this policy).

All new and existing personnel must be made aware of the Manual Handling Code of Practice.  It can be accessed on the following link  http://www.safework.sa.gov.au/uploaded_files/resCOPManualHandling.pdf. Uniting Church SA personnel are required to follow the manual handling procedures established within this policy.

Responsible Officer Responsibilities

The Responsible Officer has ultimate responsibility for the effective implementation of the Manual Handling Policy and associated programs, and will ensure that:

  • adequate resources are made available for implementation of the Manual Handling Policy;
  • appropriate training will be provided to enable personnel to fulfil their assigned roles and responsibilities;
  • ensure that Manual Handling inspections/audits take place regularly.

Manager/Supervisor Responsibilities

A task coordinator will:

  • inform employees and other personnel of the Manual Handling Policy and ensure that the checklist is referred to;
  • ensure employees and other personnel understand how to conduct manual handling tasks; ensure that adequate employee and personnel are available to perform the task(s);
  • report all manual handling accidents/incidents in accordance with the incident reporting policies.

Employees and Personnel Responsibilities

Employees and personnel will:

  • not lift or move items that they find heavy or awkward.  Trolleys, lifting equipment or team lifting will be used instead.  Employees and personnel must use provided lifting equipment at all times;
  • report damage or malfunction of all lifting equipment;
  • report all strains, sprains, aches and other injuries from lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling etc. to their supervisor/manager, first aid officer if attention is required, and complete the incident report form in accordance with the incident reporting policies.

Risk Assessment Checklist

This checklist is to be used in conjunction with those tasks outside that which is reasonably considered “normal duties” and is to be completed prior to undertaking any such task.

1. Is the task considered large enough to warrant professional removalist?

(If yes, please arrange for professional to be engaged – do not attempt to undertake task)



2. Can the load be lifted comfortably?



3. Does the task need the use of a trolley or the assistance of other staff members due to

  • weight/shape
  • volume/capacity

If you have access, refer to Uniting Church SA intranet site for Trolley use and access to equipment.



4. Is there a clear pathway for the goods to be carried?




Related Uniting Church SA Policies

Occupational Health & Safety Corporate Policy
Incident Management Policy
Hazard Management Policy          

Executive Officer, Resources Board

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