Distribution & Logistics -

Manual Handling Training

2 Day Manual Handling Instructor Assessor Course

at DHL Supply Chain, Banbury in March 2015

The 2 Day Manual Handling Instructor Assessor Course began with a 2 hour theory session including an outline of the Manual Handling Operations Regulations, relevant anatomy and the potential musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) associated with unsafe manual handling practices. This was followed by group observation of real life videos of unsafe lifting, carrying, lowering, pushing and pulling techniques (including videos in warehouse environments) and a short review of the MAC tool.

The 5 key ' BackSafe ' principles (please view the bottom text of the Reigate & Banstead District Council case study) were revisited and the group engaged in practising these principles both individually and in teams, while all the time verbalising what they were doing technique wise as if demonstrating to a group of the workforce. This helps prepare the attendees for the role of a Manual Handling Instructor as well as reinforcing correct postural awareness and technique.

          In the picture to the right the lifting technique demonstrated involves a natural forward bent posture which places mechanical stress on the lumbar spine, increasing the risk of structural damage to the lumbar spinal discs. An integral part of the Instructor Course is providing attendees with the confidence to correct eachother's technique as if they were delivering a manual handling practical skills course.

After the morning theory it was out to the warehouse floor to observe tasks being carried out in real time and to begin the day's practical training. This began with the basics of squat lifting and lowering as the group performed a number of semi-squat tasks progressing to full-squat tasks. The group were encouraged to observe eachother offering necessary corrections of their colleagues' technique with our trainer Aaron Shewring's support. The group then moved onto lifting and lowering tasks using items from around the warehouse that are normally loaded onto pallets and pushed/ pulled into loading bays. Some of these items weighed more than 30 kg; some were also an awkward shape to handle (as Aaron shows in the left photo).​

The group moved on to look at applying the squat lifting principles to tasks that make applying this technique challenging. Below Aaron is demonstrating the correct semi-squat lifting technique of a load on a pallet. Due to the width of the load, when orientating yourself to the load's widest aspect it is not possible to get the load close, between the feet and legs. ​By approaching the load with one foot around one of its corners (shown in the left photo), the knees no longer come into contact with load when they are bent, allowing the employee to use a deeper squat, avoiding a forward bend of the spine. 

Squat lifting technique was also applied in a team lifting task where communication and coordination is paramount for the 5 ' BackSafe ' principles to be correctly applied. The task in the photo to the right highlights how employees sometimes undertake tasks while working with environmental postural constraints, something to be avoided as much as possible.​

          Kicking off Day 2, Aaron covered Manual Handling Risk Assessment featuring risk factors for the task, individual, load and environment with the use of the HSE risk assessment forms. Following this, the attendees practised ' BackSafe ' pushing and pulling of loads preceeded by Aaron's practical demonstrations. The site's employees push and pull up to a 1000kg of weight on pallet trucks. Below left is a picture of Aaron demonstrating the initial position and body use for pushing such heavy loads.

Using the body in this way emphasises putting the weight of the load onto the strongest muscles of the body, the leg muscles. Although this technique does not come naturally to people (there is a tendency to lean onto the load using bodyweight), it is often commented on how much more force can be felt being generated in the thigh and gluteal muscles, exactly the area that should be generating the power in pushing. This more upright posture reduces excessive loading of the lower back, while keeping the arms into the body reduces strain on the upper back, neck and shoulder regions. Aaron then demonstrated safer pulling techniques of the same load, followed by extensive practice by the group and observation by Aaron with 1-2-1 postural, body position and technique correction when needed.


Following the practical on Day 2, Aaron went through the structure of training delivery in the classroom. The attendees then completed a practical assessment in the warehouse and a 27 question written assessment to ensure that sufficient standards were met regarding the Instructors' technique, teaching and theoretical knowledge.

DHL Testimonials

Since 2010, Osteopathic Solutions has provided Manual Handling Instructor (Train the Trainer) Programmes and Manual Handling & Ergonomic Risk Assessments for DHL Supply Chain, DHL Aviation, Tradeteam, NHS Supply Chain and DHL Express across the UK. Below is a brief selection of Course testimonials.

2 Day Manual Handling Instructor (Train the Trainer) Course accredited with City & Guilds

in October 2018 at DHL Preston

Many thanks to Alan Reed for an engaging, informative and practical course.


Michael Passey, Training Manager at DHL, Virgin Trains Contract

2 Day Manual Handling Instructor (Train the Trainer) Assessor Course

in April 2017 for DHL Banbury

​The feedback from all on the course was excellent. 


Teresa Keene, Regional SHE Manager at DHL Supply Chain

2 Day Manual Handling Instructor (Train the Trainer) Course for DHL Tradeteam

at the Burton Brewery in May 2014 

Attendee feedback:


What did you find most helpful & why?


C Marshall

' The practical side to the course, because you could see clearly the positive effects of correct handling '


R Brassington

' Learning in more depth about spinal and muscular injuries and how they happen '


S Goodman

' The practical demo was very good '

Linkedin Alan Reed
Linkedin Alan Reed
Pukka Pies Bespoke Manual Handling Training DVD
Osteopathic Solutions Ltd

T:  0845 299 3513

E:  handling@osteopathicsolutions.co.uk

Company Registration Number: 07743200

VAT Registration Number: 139 388572

CPD Certification Service Member Number: 12602

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