School operations

Manual Handling

Preparing, planning and ongoing management of hazardous manual handling risk

Actions for principals or delegates

To effectively manage manual handling risks and incidents as part of their ongoing health and safety management approach, principals or their delegates must undertake the following actions.


Principals or their delegates must consult on manual handling risks and incidents, by implementing the OHS Consultation and Communication policy to ensure effective systems are in place, including regular communication forums.

Document, monitor and review

Principals or their delegates must identify, document and monitor manual handling risks and controls in the school OHS risk register. The OHS Risk Planning and Management policy must be implemented to ensure effective planning, monitoring and reviewing processes are in place, including workplace inspections and risk assessments. Documents must be retained in accordance with the Records Management policy.

Manage hazards and incidents

Principals or their delegates must manage manual handling hazards and incidents by implementing the Managing and Reporting School Incidents (Including Emergencies) policy.

Induction and training

Principals or their delegates must ensure that all school staff have completed the mandatory manual handling eLearning module on My LearnEdExternal Link (search 'hazardous manual handling and ergonomics') as part of induction and refresh this learning every 2 years.

It’s important to consider any additional training that may provide further skills or expertise for specific manual handling tasks or mechanical aids use to support staff. This can include:

  • partnering experienced and skilled staff with less experienced staff to learn
  • using health care professionals, such as occupational therapists or physiotherapists to run school-specific training sessions, such as general manual handling techniques including lifting, or use of equipment
  • engaging external occupational rehabilitation providers to undertake manual handling risk assessments and provide tailored training accordingly.

Principals or their delegates must maintain staff training records to reflect manual handling training undertaken.

The OHS Advisory ServiceExternal Link can assist with finding providers such as occupational therapist physiotherapists or occupational rehabilitation providers for any targeted training programs or job task analysis required for each schools specific settings.

Actions for all school staff

All school staff must support ongoing prevention and safety management of manual handling risks by:

  • reporting hazards, risks and incidents in the workplace
  • completing the mandatory eLearning module available as specified above and any other manual handling training deemed required by the principal or their delegate.
Includes actions for principals or delegates to effectively manage manual handling risks and incidents as part of their ongoing health and safety management approach

Reviewed 12 October 2023

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