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One of the most important regulations for manual handling is the Manual Handling Operation Regulations, and this came out in 1992, and it has since being revised. It constantly is revised. Before 1992, nurses and carers were lifting heavy patients. They were expected, it was their job role, it was their title, that is what they had to do. Thankfully, it has changed. And under the Manual Handling Operations, it actually... The first thing it says, it says that we need to avoid manual handling or lifting where it is reasonably practical.

So we try to put that into practice by perhaps getting the person to do as much as they can themselves, so we are not having to lift them. Or sometimes that might mean that we need to bring in equipment, which may be hoists or other things as well. What it also states under the Manual Handling Operations is that if we have to lift, then there needs to be an ergonomic manual handling risk assessment. And so again, this then has to be done by somebody who has sort of been qualified to do that. And they would be looking at a lot of areas which would be the task, the individual capability of the person doing the lifting, the load, which is the person, what can they do for themselves, how heavy are they, etcetera? We would be looking at the environment and any other factors that may come into play, which would include mental capacity assessment and stuff like that.

So once we have done our ergonomic risk assessment, hopefully, we have reduced the risk; we have brought it down to its lowest possible level. And then it says under the Manual Handling Operations Regulations that we need to review the risk assessments. And again, there is no time limit. It could be daily, weekly, monthly. It could be a fixed time scale or when something happens. So if the person has got better or they got worse, then obviously the risk assessment would need to be changed. It is worth mentioning at this stage, the management of Health and Safety Work Regulations. And this came out in 1999. And really what this states is that an employer should provide risk assessments, not just for the person who is being moved but also for the staff. So if there is anything that could cause staff harm within the workplace, then there needs to be a risk assessment done to make sure that they are safe. It also goes on, within the management, that if there is anyone pregnant, anyone breastfeeding, anyone under the age of 18, or anyone with a known disability, they would need to have a risk assessment done for them. It also states that the employer should provide adequate training.

So within manual handling, you could say it is a bit of a grey area because the terminology is, "Adequate and updated on a regular basis." But what most of the governing body say, like CQC say, that the manual handling training should be done on a yearly basis at least.