Some time ago we were contacted by Health and Safety at Work, an industry journal, for our views on an article they were compiling.

The article is based on a 2010 Cochrane review by Stacy Clemes, Cheryl Haslam and Roger Haslam at Loughborough University which was published in Occupational Medicine. The article generally alludes to manual handling training not being effective.

However, in reality, what is actually being said is that ‘poor manual handling training does not work’ (i.e. “this is how you lift a box – try it – now get back to work”) but comprehensive training that involves instructing participants on the background to manual handling (i.e. anatomy and injuries) with the integration of risk assessment and practical exercises can potentially be successful.

Manual Handling Training More Effective When Tailored

The report was based on the findings of a systematic literature review, telephone survey and expert panels with the aim of determining what constitutes effective manual handling training. The respondents in the survey generally felt that manual handling training is more effective when it is tailored to specific industry and task demands, and when it involves practical elements which are believed to reinforce learning. The report also says, ‘To be effective, manual handling training needs to be embedded as an on­going process in organisations and reinforced with regular refresher courses. Training should encourage the workforce to assess risk and there needs to be careful monitoring of working practices.’

This is a message that we have always backed wholeheartedly and something that is reflected in our City & Guilds manual handling train the trainer and our IOSH people handling train the trainer courses which have long been based on the elements which the research shows are effective.

How our Courses Reflect the Report’s Findings

Our City & Guilds manual handling train the trainer course is practical and interactive and the in-house option can be fully tailored to the specific needs of a business and the industry in which it trades. Being run on your own premises, the course will focus on the individual manual handling scenarios that apply and bespoke training can also include instruction on the safe use of any particular manual handling aids that you have as well as assessing the unique risks that arise. At the end of the 2-day course you will have qualified manual handling trainers who will be able to train and continue to refresh the skills of your workforce.

The IOSH people handling train the trainer course runs over 4 days. Again it is practical and interactive and also includes ongoing support for your newly qualified in-house trainers. The course can be delivered at your premises if desired which offers the benefit of being able to use your own equipment to make demonstrations all the more realistic and therefore engaging for participants. Practical elements can be fully tailored so that delegates find it easier to learn using realistic scenarios.

For more information about these courses please call 07932 674707 or email