Safety Spotlight – Manual Handling & Display Screen Equipment

As part of February’s Hazard of the Month, Ergonomics, we’re highlighting two key areas: Manual Handling and Display Screen Equipment.

Manual Handling

a man lifting boxes, holding his back in painManual handling refers to transporting or supporting a load by hand or bodily force, and includes pushing, pulling, lifting, putting down, carrying or moving loads. Employers have a duty to protect their workers from the risk of injury caused by unsafe manual handling.

They can do so by avoiding hazardous manual handling where possible, assessing the risk of injury from unavoidable hazardous manual handling, and reducing the risk of injury as low as possible. Providing adequate training to staff can also help to raise awareness and reduce risk, although is not sufficient on its own.

Understanding a good handling technique, while not a replacement to control measures such as lifting aids, or making improvements to the task, load or working environment, is a useful part of training to reduce manual handling injuries.

As a general guideline, you should follow these steps when undertaking a manual handling task:

  • Think before handling/lifting
  • Keep the load close to your waist for as long as possible
  • Adopt a stable position
  • Ensure a good hold on the load
  • Slight bending of your back, hips and knees at the start of the lift is preferable
  • Don’t flex your back any further while lifting
  • Avoid twisting your back or leaning sideways
  • Keep your head up when handling
  • Move smoothly
  • Don’t lift or handle more than you can easily manage
  • Put down first, then adjust

These principles can be adapted to suit specific tasks.

Make sure your workers have a full understanding of safe manual handling practices with our Manual Handling E-Learning course – this course is suitable for all types of workers, especially those in low risk environment who may have daily tasks that involve moving loads, and covers common injuries, risk assessments, mechanical aids and more. Get 10% off this course with the code ‘ergo10’!

Display Screen Equipment

Legal duties of an employer for display screen equipmentThe Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations, which apply to workers who use DSE daily for continuous periods of an hour or more, were introduced because the use of display screens or Visual Display Units (VDU) has become one of the most common kinds of work equipment.

These regulations require that employers must protect their workers from the health risks of working with display screen equipment (DSE), such as PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones – incorrect DSE use can lead to fatigue, eye strain, and pain in the neck, shoulders, back, arms, wrists and hands.

By law, if an employee is a DSE user, their employer must:

  • Do a DSE workstation assessment
  • Reduce risks, including making sure workers take breaks from DSE work or do something different
  • Provide an eye test if a worker asks for one
  • Provide training and information for workers

It is also beneficial for workers to learn how to carry out their own DSE risk assessment, especially if they are changing desks regularly due to hot-desking (in which case, they should carry out a basic risk assessment each time), or working from home.

Display screen equipment is now one of the most common pieces of work equipment, and many workers are likely to use it in some capacity. Ensure your team stay healthy and comfortable with our Display Screen Equipment E-learning course – this course is suitable for any workers who regularly use a screen, and covers ergonomics, posture, eyesight and more. Get 10% off this course with the code ‘ergo10’!


Manual Handling and Display Screen Equipment are common hazards in many workplaces, but employee training can help to reduce the risk of injury. Make sure you don’t miss out on our 10% off deal on these essential safety courses, available until the end of February. Simply enter the code ‘ergo10’ at checkout to save!

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