CPD Certification Service
Blueleaf Case Study

Bespoke Manual Handling Programme

Download our Bespoke 3 Hour Manual Handling Programme Course Outline by clicking the PDF to the right

Our Manual Handling Experts Gareth Milner and Martin Langton joined forces and delivered our Bespoke 3 Hour Manual Handling Practical Skills Programme at Blueleaf in Southwater, West Sussex so that the company maintains its compliance under the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992. Having our team meet like this enables our Manual Handling Training Experts to quality assure our Bespoke Programme delivery and to share knowledge and ideas.

Our unique and memorable classroom theory included a brief and basic overview of the anatomy and biomechanics of back injury.

Hazardous manual handling practices were presented with real life videos of natural lifting, carrying, lowering, pushing and pulling on warehouse and factory floors. A significant number of the employees at Blueleaf recognised that they performed these practices and didn’t realise the damage they were causing to their backs, necks, shoulders and knees through repetitive practice, increasing the risk of manual handling related injuries and lost time accidents for their employer.

Want to know more about Biomechanics?
Read our Blog 'Human Biomechanics - Kept Simple' on our Blog Page via this link

Onto the warehouse floor for the Best Practice lifting, carrying, lowering, pushing, pulling and team handling employee practical. Each of the 3 Hour Manual Handling Practical Skills Courses had 15 attendees (2 x 3 Hour Courses are run in a single day, training a total of 30 employees costing Blueleaf only £19.83 per employee). For our Online Manual Handling Training Programme where you can train your employees for only £15 per employee click the image below left.


A 3 Hour Manual Handling Practical Skills Course is the maximum any training provider should train on a tailored, job specific manual handling course. This gives just enough time for each employee to practise ‘BackSafe’ techniques. The practical started off with postural awareness with the group performing forward bending (stooping), forward bending and twisting, backward bending, side bending and (upright) twisting spinal movements. With each movement our Manual Handling Expert mentioned the hazardous manual handling practices where these movements are performed.

Online Manual Handling Training

In the video (at the top right of this page) our Director Gareth Milner demonstrates best practice semi-squat and full-squat lifting and lowering. Please view our Manual Handling Techniques Explained page for videos of squat lifting and lowering with commentary. With the maximum group size of 15 attendees at Blueleaf, Gareth demonstrates a semi-squat lift, carry and full-squat lower. Then a full-squat lift, carry and semi-squat lower. This is an efficient and effective way in teaching 'BackSafe' lifting, carrying and lowering with groups of maximum attendee numbers. In the video (at the top right of this page) Gareth also demonstrates the 3 natural, hazardous ways of lifting and lowering.

In the video to the left Gareth demonstrates lunge lifting and lowering. Our 'Best Practice' 3 Hour Manual Handling Practical Skills Course gives sufficient time to cover the lunge lifting and lowering practice which is indicated for people with chronic back injuries (especially disc injuries) with moderate weight loads. For more information on the lunge technique please view our Manual Handling Techniques Explained page.

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The video to the right features team lifting, carrying and lowering. The load is one of those loads that could be lifted by one person, however due to the bulk and weight of the load it would always enforce a forward bent posture using mainly the lower back muscles to perform the lift, and lower. 


Here Gareth observes a well coordinated lift with the employees using communication used by the fire services ' Ready, Brace, Lift ' which we teach as the safest way to coordinate a team lift. Commonly coordination is taught using ' 1, 2, 3 ' (with the lift on 3) or ' 1, 2, 3, Lift ' . From extensive observations of team handling ' Ready, Brace, Lift ' more consistently gets the handlers coordinating the lift, reducing the strain on their bodies.

The carry then involves one person walking backwards and one person forwards. This is the safest way for preventing musculoskeletal strain (and manual handling related injuries) as their backs are kept in a straight and upright position, but this should only be practised where environmental hazards are not present and the person walking forwards should always look out for trip hazards etc. The load was brought back with both employees walking forwards. As in all our Bespoke Programmes, to aid learning and habit changing we request attendees to compare natural practices with 'BackSafe' practice. In the video above right, their spines are side bending away from eachother with a coupled twist towards eachother. This is a hazardous spinal position that will damage spinal soft tissues over time. However in real life this practice has to be performed and regular alternating the side you carry on will reduce the strain on your back.

Back Pain

Suffer from Back Pain?

Read our Director, Qualified Osteopath & Manual Handling Expert Gareth Milner's blog

'Self Help for your Back Pain' on our Blog page via this link


On the lower the 2 employees performed an excellent squat. When team handling in real life, people commonly maintain their feet close together which forces the load's weight onto the lower back. In the video above right, Gareth reminds them to adopt a 'wide base' (slightly wider than shoulder width apart) and the load is lowered down with best practice technique.

Best Practice Pulling of Pallet Truck

Pushing and pulling were then practised with a heavy palletised load with a pallet truck as shown in the left photo. In our Pukka Pies Bespoke Manual Handling Training Case Study, Gareth demonstrates to the attendees the natural, hazardous ways that employees pull pallet trucks. All 3 hazardous methods involve use of bodyweight and significant spinal strain, increasing the risk of manual handling lost time accidents. At Blueleaf in the photo to the left our Manual Handling Expert Martyn Langton gives 1-2-1 coaching on powerful and safe use of the body whilst pulling the load. Please view our DHL Manual Handling Instructor (Train the Trainer) Programme below for more information on 'BackSafe' pushing technique.

The task shown in the gallery to the right involved lifting above head height. From the HSE guidelines on appendix 3 (image below left) from the Manual Handling Operations Regulations, handling loads above head height should be avoided. From an Osteopath's point of view repetitive practice will create strain in the neck joints and muscles, and the shoulder soft tissues.

Despite what some training providers may state, no manual handling training can teach safe technique with this task as it is simply not possible (unless you are a GIANT!). As Osteopathic Solutions is a provider that gives much more than simply training the workforce, our Manual Handling Consultants took photos of this task and a short, free from charge report was emailed to the Blueleaf Health & Safety

Hazardous handling above head height
Hazardous handling above head height

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Manual Handling Guidelines
Manual Handling Guidelines

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Hazardous handling above head height
Hazardous handling above head height

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Manager to inform them of the hazards of this task so that they can reduce the risk of manual handling related injuries and claims, ensuring compliance with UK Health & Safety Legislation. For guidance on this legislation, please view our Manual Handling Operations Regulations page.


An intensive day of practical manual handling training at Blueleaf that received positive feedback from the Health & Safety Manager and attendees.

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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