Manual Handling

Schools can now visit the Policy and Advisory Library (PAL) for this information. This page will remain in this location but will be for corporate staff only. School staff should use PAL for all policy, procedures and other operational information.

​Manual handling injuries account for a significant proportion of all injuries that occur within the Department and that in most cases they are preventable.

Manual handling is not simply the act of lifting items. Hazardous manual handling can be defined as work requiring the use of force exerted by a person to lift, lower, push, pull, carry or otherwise move, hold or restrain a thing, if the work involves one or more of the following:

  • sustained awkward posture
  • repetitive movement
  • application of single or repetitive use of unreasonable amount of force
  • exposure to vibration
  • lifting persons or animals
  • unbalanced or unstable loads
  • loads that are difficult to grasp or hold.

There is no legislated weight limit that is considered “safe” for manual handling. Individuals have different physical capabilities which must be considered when taking into account any manual handling task. The weight of an object is not necessarily the only thing that makes a task hazardous.



Relevant sections of the OHSMS


Legislation, guidance and Codes of Practice

Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004

Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017

WorkSafe Victoria Compliance Code: Hazardous Manual Handling, Edition 2 December 2019

Contact us

OHS Advisory Service 1300 074 715

Further information

WorkSafe Victoria

WorkSafe Compliance Code: Hazardous Manual Handling, Edition 2 December 2019 ​