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N60. Moving, Handling and Transferring Service Users — Health and Safety

Policy Statement

This policy sets out the values, principles and procedures underpinning {{org_field_name}}’s approach to the moving and handling of its service users. The aims of this policy are to:

  1. ensure that service users are provided with the safe care and equipment required to meet their needs in line with national care standards and regulations
  2. ensure compliance with the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 and associated guidance
  3. assist all staff to adopt a positive and informed approach to safer handling techniques and the carrying out of risk assessments
  4. ensure that suitable equipment is made available to staff to promote safe practice.

Compliance with Legislation

{{org_field_name}} recognises that its service users will have a range of different mobility and handling needs and that many will require a degree of assistance with moving and some manual handling care. In such a working environment, {{org_field_name}} recognises its duty to ensure that:

  1. the safety of both service users and staff is assured
  2. staff are not required to perform tasks that put themselves or their service users at unreasonable risk
  3. service users’ personal wishes on mobility assistance are respected wherever possible
  4. service users’ independence and autonomy is supported as fully as possible.

{{org_field_name}} recognises the risks involved with moving and handling operations and is aware of tragic accidents that have caused injuries and even death to service users in the health and care sectors in the past.

To ensure safety, and to maximise the independence and dignity of service users, {{org_field_name}} therefore adopts a minimal handling approach to the moving and handling of service users, whereby the physical handling or lifting of service users is minimised or avoided wherever possible. Where handling of service users is required, specialist skills will be employed by staff who are appropriately trained and equipped. {{org_field_name}} believes that such a policy not only minimises the risk to both staff and service users, but also has the added benefit of maintaining {{org_field_name}} user’s independence and encouraging their mobility.

To further reduce the risks of accidents or incidents, managers will be expected to:

  1. always ensure adequate staffing levels
  2. ensure appropriate aids are provided
  3. ensure that all staff expected to help with the moving and handling of service users have appropriate training
  4. apply up-to-date principles of risk avoidance and reduction.

Where individual service users need assistance with their mobility, it is essential that their records or care plans contain a full assessment of their needs. The assessment should identify the moving and handling aids and techniques that are required to move {{org_field_name}} user safely in any situation.


{{org_field_name}} recognises its responsibility under the Health and Safety at Work, etc Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSWR) to ensure that all reasonable precautions are taken to provide and maintain working conditions that are safe, healthy and compliant with all statutory requirements and codes of practice. Employees, service users and contractors are expected to abide by safety rules and to have regard to the safety of others.

{{org_field_name}} further recognises its duty under the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 and the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) to ensure the safety of all manual handling operations.

Moving and Handling Service Users

{{org_field_name}} understands that the intention of the relevant care regulations is to prevent service users from receiving unsafe care and treatment and to prevent any avoidable harm or risk of harm.

{{org_field_name}} understands manual handling as the transporting or supporting of loads by hand or by bodily force without mechanical help. This includes activities such as lifting, carrying, shoving, pushing, pulling, nudging and sliding heavy objects. It also covers the moving and handling of service users by staff.

As all manual handling activities obviously carry the risk of injury if they are not performed carefully, {{org_field_name}} will take the following steps to ensure that its statutory duties to protect staff and service users are met.

  1. It is mandatory that all staff who undertake the movement of service users attend the appropriate moving and handling training, the frequency of which is identified in {{org_field_name}}’s statutory and mandatory training policy.
  2. A full assessment of {{org_field_name}} user’s mobility should be carried out. This should support a moving and handling risk assessment, which should be completed in all cases. A moving and handling plan should also be developed, agreed with {{org_field_name}} user, implemented and reviewed.
  3. All assessments of moving and handling needs will consider the dignity and independence of service users as well as their reablement, rehabilitation and developmental needs.
  4. All assessments should actively involve {{org_field_name}} user and, where appropriate, their family or those acting on their behalf.
  5. To support independence and reablement, service users should be encouraged to assist in their own moving or transfers where appropriate and as far as is reasonably practicable.
  6. Staff should always consider each manual handling task involving service users for risk of injury both to themselves and to {{org_field_name}} user.
  7. Handling aids must be used where appropriate to minimise risk and as indicated in the moving and handling plan.
  8. Equipment, including hoists, will only be used as specified in the moving and handling plan and then only by staff who have been trained and are competent to use the hoist involved.
  9. The appropriate number of handlers for the operation being considered should be identified and documented in the plan.
  10. All handlers must be familiar with the system of work for the procedure being implemented.
  11. Where several handlers are involved, a team leader must be nominated to instruct the other handlers.
  12. Any furniture or equipment that may hamper the safety of handlers should be removed by staff if safe to do so.
  13. {{org_field_name}} user must always be informed as clearly as possible about the manual handling operation and his or her consent sought.
  14. All communications and information provided must consider {{org_field_name}} user’s need, including his or her social and cultural background and any disabilities.
  15. All processes and systems of work involving the manual handling of service users will always be properly supervised to ensure the safety of both handlers and service users.
  16. Staff should never, in any circumstances, attempt to lift or move a service user where they lack sufficient training or where they believe there is a significant risk of injury involved, either to themselves or to {{org_field_name}} user.
  17. The manual “lifting” of service users without a hoist should be avoided in all but exceptional or life-threatening situations. Appropriate hoists, sliding aids and other specialised equipment should be used whenever possible.
  18. Staff should report any accident, incident or near-miss involving moving and handling.
  19. Managers should ensure that appropriate records of accidents and sick leave related to moving and handling are kept and routinely investigated so that any trends can be identified.

{{org_field_name}}’s policy will, if reasonably practicable, be:

  1. to ensure that lifting equipment or manual handling aids are provided, and that they are fit for purpose and safe to use
  2. to provide the information, instruction, training and supervision required to ensure the health and safety at work of employees and others
  3. in the event of any accident or incident (such as a near-miss) involving injury to anybody on work premises, to make a full investigation and to comply with statutory requirements relating to the reporting of such incidents.

Reporting of Accidents and Incidents

All accidents or incidents involving the moving and handling of service users should be reported, including near-misses (where an accident could have occurred but was narrowly avoided). Staff must complete an incident form following any accident or incident and statements should be taken from witnesses to the incident whenever appropriate.

All incidents should be investigated and accident statistics and reports regularly reviewed by senior management to identify any trends or patterns.


All staff will be given adequate training and information on manual handling risks and how to avoid them. Such training should focus on specific tasks and equipment as well as on the more general information required to carry out safe manual handling. All staff will be trained to assess if a load is too heavy to carry.

All new staff must understand and learn to apply safe working practices and manual handling policies as part of their induction process. Existing staff will be offered training covering basic information about health and safety. All staff are expected to attend manual handling refresher training. In addition, all staff will be appropriately trained to perform their duties safely and competently and those staff who need to use specialist equipment will be fully trained and supervised while they are developing their competency.

Managers are responsible for keeping records of all staff training and for ensuring during appraisal that all statutory and mandatory training has been completed.

Copyright ©2024 {{org_field_name}}. All rights reserved

Reviewed on: {{last_update_date}}

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