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Understanding the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992

Understanding the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (MHOR)

Making sure that your business and employees understand and implement the Manual Handling Regulations 1992 (MHOR) is critical. 

Workplaces often dismiss the importance of the regulations due to the perceived complexity and length of the regulations. 

At PARRS, we understand the need to ensure that you and your employees know what is involved and what is expected, so we have broken down the regulations for you to understand.


What is manual handling?

Identifying what manual handling is within the workplace is key to understanding the operations regulations. Manual handling is defined as using the human body to move loads using one of the following tasks:

  • Lift 

  • Lower

  • Relocate

  • Unpack 

  • Fill

  • Carry

  • Push 

  • Pull 

The load can either be animate or inanimate, large or small and can even be a person, animal or object.

What is manual handling?

What are the manual handling operations regulations 1992?

The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 is a publication that outlines guidance on how to avoid, assess and reduce the risk of injury occurring during manual handling. 

Employers, safety representatives and managers need to understand and comply with these regulations, but they can also be useful for employees to know.

Manual Handling Operations Regulations Part 1 - Legal Duties

Part 1 - Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992: Legal Duties


The legal duties section includes the text of the Regulations and includes accompanying guidance on following them. Blue tabs characterise it. 

Carrying out a manual handling risk assessment

Part 2 - Carrying out a manual handling risk assessment


Part 2 of the Manual Handling Operations Regulations discusses general guidance on carrying out a risk assessment for manual handling operations. Red tabs characterise it. 

Assessing and reducing manual handling risks

Part 3 - Assessing and reducing manual handling risks


This section of the regulations includes extra information about conducting risk assessments for manual handling activities. It will help you identify what to look for and is characterised by green tabs. 

Mechanical assistance and good handling technique

Part 4 - Mechanical assistance and good handling technique


Part 4 of the Manual Handling Operations Regulations discusses the techniques of handling and gives examples of handling aids. This is characterised by orange tabs.

Why should the MHOR be followed in the workplace?

Following the regulations will directly reduce Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) associated with manual handling, which is recognised as the most reported kind of work-based health issue.

  1. Identifying manual handling risks and addressing these risks by providing safe working practices and the correct equipment will reduce work-related MSDs, improve productivity and reduce absenteeism.

  2. If an accident occurs at work due to incorrect manual handling, this may result in damaged goods, damaged people and a damaged reputation for your business.

How to start following the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992

The Royal Society for the prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) interpret the regulations and makes them simple to understand and put into handling techniques; read the regulations yourself and digest them in your own time. 

Step 1. The regulations say that, as far as is reasonably practicable, avoid the need for employees to undertake any manual handling operations at work which involve a risk of being injured.

Step 2. Conduct a risk assessment for the Manual handling operations that cannot be avoided.

Step 3. As far as it is reasonably practicable, take action to reduce the risk of injury.

What does TILEO stand for?

The TILEO acronym which is recommended by RoSPA stands for Task, Individual, Load, Environment and Other Factors. It is a logical approach that covers both general and dynamic manual handling risk assessments in the workplace.

Here’s how it works:

  • Task. What is the job that needs to be completed? Take a look at every task which involves transporting a load from a static position.

  • Individual. Who is moving the load? This does not mean discriminating against select employees but positively recognising that some people are more physically capable of carrying out manual handling tasks than others. This is particularly important when considering The Disability Discrimination Act 2010 (DDA).

  • Load. Look at the weight and dimensions of the load. Weight is critically important, but over-stretching to accommodate an oversized load should also be considered.

  • Environment. Carrying a 15KG box over a ploughed field is different to carrying it across an office floor. Indoor and outdoor manual handling present different challenges and these environments should be addressed independently.

  • Other Factors. How repetitive is the task? What is the distance of travel? These are the kind of questions that should be asked when undertaking manual handling risk assessments.

What Does TILEO Stand For?

What to do after completing a risk assessment for manual handling

Now that you have completed your risk assessments, you then need to take appropriate steps to reduce the risk of injury to people undertaking manual handling tasks in the workplace.

These steps will include:

  1. Appropriate manual handling training for all employees involved in regular manual handling tasks.

  2. Specific training for specific tasks for employees undertaking the same task regularly.

  3. Reinforce the message. Undertake regular refresher training and place safety posters around the workplace to remind employees about the Manual Handling Operations Regulations and the correct way to lift, move and transport a load.

  4. The provision of the correct equipment to carry out the task. At PARRS, we manufacture and distribute high-quality workplace equipment that employees can use to reduce Musculoskeletal Disorders, increase productivity, reduce absenteeism and improve job satisfaction.

Manual Handling Equipment at PARRS

If you take the view that The Manual Handling Operations Regulations (MHOR) 1992 can make a positive contribution to your workplace, then you will see great benefits in reduced workplace injuries and improved employee productivity. 

By not properly addressing the regulations, your organisation will be liable for prosecution from the Health and Safety Executive and you may be putting your employee’s health at risk.



Browse the full range of Manual Handling Equipment available at PARRS today. This includes sack trucks, pallet trucks and for heavier manual handling, you will find powered trucks & trolleys. You will also find equipment for manual handling security, such as load restraints. At PARRS, we provide the very best manual handling equipment and with over 135 years of experience – you can rely on us for the very best solutions.