Last edited 08 Sep 2017

Manual handling assessment chart

Manual handling injuries are work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), which are the most common type of occupational ill health in the UK, and are a particular problem in the construction industry.

Manual handling assessment charts (MAC) were originally designed to help the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and local authority inspectors assess risks in the workplace, in accordance with the Manual Handling Operations Regulations (MHOR). They are now used within the workplace to help identify manual handling activities that could pose a high level of risk.

MACs use a numerical and colour-coding score system to help employers and safety inspectors accurately assess risks posed by manual handling activities, and to understand and categorise the level of risk.

They allow assessment of:

  • Lifting operations.
  • Carrying operations.
  • Team handling operations.

They include a flow chart for each type of handling which progresses through each factor of the manual handling operation step-by-step. At each step, the user is able to evaluate and apportion a grade to the degree of risk. An assessment guide then helps with the scoring of each task.

It is important to note that use of MACs is not a substitute for a full risk assessment, as it is not appropriate for all manual handling operations, and risk assessments should take account of other information such as individual capabilities.

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