The Manual Handling Operations Regulations (MHOR) set out duties to ensure safety for a wide range of manual handling activities, including lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling or carrying. The load may be either animate, such as a person or an animal, or inanimate, such as a box or a trolley.

The main aim of MHOR is to prevent injury to any part of the body.

The Manual Handling Operations Regulations (MHOR) make it a requirement for employers to manage the risks to their employees by:

  • doing all that’s realistically possible to avoid risky manual handling operations;
  • making a suitable and sufficient risk assessment for any hazardous manual handling operations that can’t be avoided; and
  • reducing the risk of injury from those operations so far as is reasonably practicable. 

Avoidance and reduction of the risk can be achieved by redesigning the task or working environment or introducing automation and/or mechanical assistance into the process.

Medical and scientific knowledge stress the importance of an ergonomic (i.e. comfort-based) approach that looks at manual handling in the workplace as a whole, taking into account the nature of the task, the load and the working environment, and requiring worker participation.