British Pepper & Spice’s Health & Safety Officer contracted Osteopathic Solutions in November 2018 to film a Bespoke Manual Handling Training DVD filmed across the factory floor. This Health & Safety Programme was initiated by British Pepper & Spice’ CEO who had previously worked at Pukka Pies who had themselves contracted Osteopathic Solutions for their Factory and Distribution Bespoke Manual Handling Training DVDs. The British Pepper & Spice production followed the delivery of our 2 Day Manual Handling Instructor (Train the Trainer) Assessor Course accredited by City & Guilds in June 2018 ran by our Manual Handling Training Expert Jonathan Simmonds where we successfully trained British Pepper & Spice’s Health & Safety Officer and 5 other attendees as competent Manual Handling Instructors and Risk Assessors.

This case study details how we at Osteopathic Solutions put together our unique and memorable Bespoke Manual Handling Training DVDs. This case study does not feature all the manual handling tasks, loads and environments that were filmed and put together in the completed DVD which can be watched at the bottom of this page.

Our Director Gareth Milner performed pre-consultancy email and telephone contact with British Pepper & Spice’s Health & Safety Officer, to arrange that there was all day onsite support around the factory floor and to discuss the highest risk manual handling operations.

On the day of the filming consultancy, our Director Gareth Milner attended with our Training Administrator & Social Media Manager Emma Farrell (please read Emma’s '' Lights, Camera, Action! Our Bespoke Manual Handling DVD filming at British Pepper '' blog on our Blogs Page) and Lawrence Fowler of Up a Notch Productions (please read Lawrence’s brief account of the filming day at the bottom of this page).

The morning started with a full factory tour, observing all manual handling tasks, loads and environments. Task descriptions were given to Gareth with Emma Farrell taking notes and photo that would be used when structuring the DVD clips and writing the commentary. As you will see in the finished production, our Bespoke Manual Handling DVDs start off with clips across the factory featuring natural and hazardous manual handing practices including lifting, carrying, lowering, pushing and pulling.

The first filming started with a female operative (shown in the photos and video above) transferring small pepper bottles from a raised pallet to a machine. Brief footage of this task starts off the DVD (which is available to view at the bottom of this page).

In the photos and video below Lawrence films an employee lifting finished product from the roller conveyor, carrying and then lowering to stack on a pallet. This was an awkward practice as the factory operative ‘clamped’ together 5 lightweight boxes at the conveyor then lowered them onto the pallet with a forward bend (stoop) of his spine. Best practice, which was achievable with this manual handling task due to the moderate machine rate, would have been to lift less boxes which would reduce the strain on the upper limbs regarding grip (view our Assessment of Repetitive Tasks worked example on our Manual Handling Operations Regulations page) and the spine as a best practice squat to lower the boxes would have been more achievable. 

Supported by British Pepper & Spice’s Health & Safety Officer, employees were informed that they would be filmed for the Manual Handling DVD and that they should just carry on as normal with the task. This supported natural practice which is featured during the DVD. In the photo below left, Lawrence is filming the employee fill a machine with cardboard packaging that she has lifted from the pallet. In the finished DVD this is covered (available in January 2019).

Throughout the day Gareth worked side by side with Lawrence assessing footage taken as shown in the middle photos above. In the right photo above Gareth discusses this footage with British Pepper & Spice's Health & Safety Officer.

The task on the video (below left) features an operative filling bags with 25kg of cinnamon and then lifting, carrying and lowering the bag onto the pallet. Backsafe practice of squat lifting, carrying and squat lowering is presented in the DVD (available in January 2019). We moved into the distribution warehouse as there were different tasks including pushing fork lift truck batteries for charging. An employee had accidently spilt some product on the warehouse floor which gave a great clip for the finished DVD with reference to not all manual tasks can be performed with perfect posture and body use. On the video (below right) Gareth discusses with Emma Farrell (Osteopathic Solutions Training Administrator & Social Media Manager) that sweeping is a task that enforces use of the arms in a forward bent spinal position. Lawrence films this which is briefly shown in the DVD at the end where we recommend employees to perform regular exercise outside of work to prevent manual handling related injuries that awkward tasks like this increase the risk for.

In the photos (below left and below middle) Lawrence films Gareth performing a semi-squat lift and carry with a food bucket on the warehouse floor. Although this was not a specific employee task on the warehouse floor, it provided an area of no distractions for filming and also not interfering in the production processes for a part of the filming consultancy day.

In our Bespoke Manual Handling DVDs we like to get employees involved in the filmed clips. In the right photo below Gareth is prepping British Pepper & Spice’s Health & Safety Officer in carrying practice with the food bucket. This constant dialogue with the Health & Safety Officer made sure he got what he wanted in the completed DVD as well as Gareth guiding the production filming supported by Lawrence of Up a Knotch Filming Productions.

Some providers of Bespoke Manual Handling DVDs solely film their Instructor. Osteopathic Solutions like to engage employees in the filming which we find gives them a positive feeling in that they are involved in the DVD’s production. We feel that it is also best practice filming if the site’s/ company’s Health & Safety Manager is presented in the finished DVD performing best practice manual handling, as a standard for all their employees. In the photo below British Pepper & Spice’s Health & Safety Officer in performing a safer carry the food bucket, having a symmetrical grip with both hands under the bucket held, keeping the load close to his chest and upper abdomen. This is presented in the finished DVD (available in January 2019).


The task of pushing fork lift truck batteries is an extremely heavy and hazardous task. Although the employee was very strong and efficient with the task, this poses a high risk for all body manual handling musculoskeletal disorders. It is simply not possible to perform a BackSafe push due to the task, load and environment and automation should be investigated and invested in with this task. We support reductions in manual handling related injuries not just through Bespoke Onsite Manual Handling Training and DVD production but also with Manual Handling & Ergonomic Risk Assessments. The complete manual handling risk reduction programme.

Near the warehouse there was a quiet storage area next to the engineering workshop. This provided a good area to film natural, hazardous lifting and lowering practices. In the photo below left Lawrence films Gareth performing a forward bend to lift a heavy bag of salt. Changing manual handling habits is not successfully achieved with teaching employees safer practice alone. Gareth then filmed safer full squat lifting. In the middle video below the lift doesn’t go quite to plan. As we seek perfection in our unique DVD productions, Gareth performed the lift again with Lawrence filming as shown in the video below right. A comparison of hazardous lifting and BackSafe lifting is featured in the DVD (available in January 2019).

We then moved back on the factory floor where loads were lifted and tipped into hoppers. In the photos below, observed by Gareth, Lawrence is filming British Pepper & Spice’s Health & Safety Officer is performing BackSafe squat lifting from the pallets.


Across the factory floor there were many loads being pushed and pulled including pallet trucks, commercial bins, industrial hoovers, engineers’ trolleys, food totes, wheelie bins, stacked crate trolleys, fork lift truck batteries etc. In this part of the factory where the large hoppers were situated an industrial hoover was pushed and pulled. In the video to the right Lawrence films Gareth performing a natural pull, involving a backward bend with the arms outstretched using body weight. For BackSafe pulling practice with the industrial hoover watch the DVD (available in January 2019).

All loads that are pushed and pulled have risk factors from their design that create different manual handling issues. In the DVD Gareth demonstrates 2 different grips for pushing of commercial bins as shown in the photos below. If you are interested in a Bespoke Manual Handing DVD for your company and would be keen for a discounted production cost email Gareth with a brief description of these grip positions and why one method is ergonomically preferential for the musculoskeletal system. Watch the DVD for some guidance.


As we cover in our Bespoke Training Programmes, Osteopathic Solutions Bespoke Manual Handling DVD aids employee learning by teaching the hazardous practices people do as well as the best practice, BackSafe handling techniques. As shown in the photo below left, Gareth is performing natural pushing practice using bodyweight, forward bending of the spine and overuse of the arms and upper body muscles with a commercial bin. In the DVD (available January 2019) this is immediately followed with best practice technique, which of course isn’t natural, but with support from a practical, in house Manual Handing Training Programme can support manual handling behavioural change, aiding fewer workforce musculoskeletal disorders and manual handling lost time accidents.

In the middle and right photos above Gareth performs unsafe single person pulling practice with the commercial bin. The middle photo above shows a backward bend with the arms outstretched using bodyweight, and the right photo above shows pulling with one arm from a standing start using bodyweight.

In the video .... Lawrence films Gareth performing a best practice pull of the commercial bin, using his legs to generate the pulling force (front of thigh muscles) and not his bodyweight and upper body.

Please view our Risk Assessment of Pushing & Pulling tasks on our Manual Handling Operations Regulations page. Natural pushing and pulling practice was filmed around and at the automated pallet wrapping machine. In the right video above Gareth is mentioning to Emma Farrell (don’t forget to read her blog on the day on this link) that the lack of space in this factory area is causing more pushing and pulling manual handling tasks. Lack of space is commonplace in many food factories (especially the meat industry) and does make a significant effect on one’s ability to handle pallet truck loads with BackSafe posture and body use. BackSafe pushing and pulling technique and practice is presented in the DVD (available January 2019).

After sampling British Pepper & Spice’s canteen sausage rolls over lunch with the Health & Safety Officer, it was back to the main factory hall for the afternoon filming. Firstly it was filming of how to handle lightweight boxes. Squat practice provides the spine with the ability to maintain its natural curves, the position of least spinal strain. However over use of the squat can lead to knee fatigue and possible injury. Therefore for light loads, as shown in the left video below, a semi-squat combined with a moderate forward bend of the back is recommended, as long as the load is close and you are standing square on (i.e. no spinal twisting).

As with all the practical coverage on the Bespoke Manual Handling DVD, filming of hazardous natural practices was compared to BackSafe technique and practice. In the middle video above natural forward bending and twisting on 1 leg to lift packaging from the stillage was filmed and then followed by filming of BackSafe practice as shown in the right video above. 


In the video to the right Gareth is going through full squat lifting with one of the employees. We like to involve employees in the DVD as previously mentioned. The employee performed a full squat lift of the heavy bags of pepper but held his head in a forward bent position. This actually gave a good clip for the DVD (available January 2019).

Gareth then performed a full squat lift and then carry, with 2 different, but both acceptable ways of initiating the lift regarding load position. This is shown in the DVD (available January 2019).


Nearby in this factory area there was machine maintenance. As shown in the left photo below the employee is enforced into a side bend of the back whilst attending to the machine. This clip was used at the end of the DVD with reference to not all work tasks can be performed with perfect posture and no strain on the body, and that people need to exercise out of work to prevent these awkward tasks leading to injury.

As with many manufacturing facilities, team handling was a rare practice. As with any manual handling training, whether practical, DVD or online it is about encouraging behavioural change within employees. Firstly team handling of Commercial Bins (Eurobins) was filmed on the factory floor, involving a coordinated 2 person team push with the team leader communication of ‘Ready, Brace, Push’. In the DVD (available January 2019) Gareth performs a team push of the Commercial Bin with Emma Farrell, with Gareth being the task team leader.

All selected footage and commentary text was passed over to our production partner Smart Marketing Solutions who ‘batched’ it all together within 2 weeks. Hard copies and a digital version were then sent to British Pepper & Spice’s Health & Safety Officer with a multiple choice assessment paper for their workforce (to be conducted after watching) to support the company’s compliance with the Manual Handling Operations Regulations.

Thanks to British Pepper & Spice’s Health & Safety Officer for making our team feel so welcome and for his support across the day capturing high quality footage for their Bespoke Manual Handling Training DVD. Coupled with their Osteopathic Solutions trained Manual Handling Instructors and Risk Assessors (delivering their in house, practical Manual Handling Training Programme) this DVD ensures British Pepper & Spice’s compliance with UK Health & Safety Legislation and their drive towards zero manual handling related injuries.


Testimonial available shortly

Pawel Juraszczyk, Health Safety & Environmental Manager 

British Pepper & Spice


" It was great working with the team at Osteopathic Solutions and our helpful collaborators at British Pepper. The key to instructional projects such as this, from a filmmaker's perspective is ensuring the footage we shoot is easy to follow for the viewer, stays on message, and that we shoot as many different options as possible for the editor to choose as quickly as you can to cause minimum disruption. Together we managed to achieve this. It also helps that the British pepper site was very well lit throughout, enabling us to move quickly without needing to light each shot, solely focusing on the instruction and framing of each shot to communicate this clearly. I would be pleased to work with Gareth and his team again, it was an enjoyable experience "


Lawrence Fowler, Creative Director

Up a Notch Productions


" Smart Marketing Solutions is a small family run business consisting of husband and wife team producing media for all kinds of clients including Osteopathic Solutions. We have been working alongside Gareth for a few years producing instructional videos to reduce manual handling injuries and lost time at work. Included in my work history is 6 years of elevator installation, during which time I am guilty of all the incorrect techniques Gareth and his team are teaching to avoid. This has left me with lower back problems and pain which I will probably suffer from for the rest of my life. I have learned a lot working with Gareth and I only wish I knew him sooner ''

Shane Du Toit, Director

Smart Marketing Solutions

Manual Handling Train the Trainer
Osteopathic Solutions Ltd

T:  0845 299 3513


Company Registration Number: 07743200

VAT Registration Number: 139 388572

CPD Certification Service Member Number: 12602

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