Health & Safety Executive Manual Handling Risk Assessment Tools
Do you perform Manual Handling & Ergonomic Risk Assessments?
Then this page is a must read as it contains worked examples of the MAC, RAPP, ART and REBA Tools, and the Health & Safety Executive's Manual Handling Risk Assessment Checklists including what musculoskeletal disorders are likely and why, and risk reduction solutions. These worked examples are regularly changed which will be notified on our Linkedin page. You can connect on Linkedin with our Director Gareth Milner (who has written these assessments) on this link.
The MAC tool (Manual Handling Assessment Chart) is designed to help understand, interpret and categorize the level of risk of the various known risk factors associated with lifting, carrying and team handling activities, and check the effectiveness of any risk reduction measures. It incorporates a numerical and a colour-coding score system to highlight high risk manual handling tasks. It is appropriate for assessing loads above 8kg.
This tool will help you identify high-risk pushing and pulling operations and check the effectiveness of any risk-reduction measures
There are two types of pulling and pushing operations you can assess using this tool:
moving loads on wheeled equipment, such as hand trolleys, pump trucks, carts or wheelbarrows
moving loads without wheels, which might involve actions such as dragging/sliding, churning (pivoting & rolling)
For each type of assessment there is a flow chart, an assessment guide and a score sheet. The flow charts provide an overview of the risk factors and assessment process, while the assessment guides provide information to help you determine the level of risk for each factor.
RAPP Tool Assessment 1.
Pushing load on wheeled equipment
RAPP Tool Assessment 2.
Pushing load without wheels
The ART tool is designed to help you risk assess tasks that require repetitive moving of the upper limbs (arms and hands), and check the effectiveness of any risk reduction measures. It assists you in assessing some of the common risk factors in repetitive work that contribute to the development of Upper Limb Disorders (ULDs).
This ergonomic assessment tool uses a systematic process to evaluate whole body MSD risks associated with job tasks. A single page score sheet is used to evaluate body posture, forceful exertions, type of movement or action, repetition, and coupling. Using the REBA score sheet, the assessor will assign a score for each of the following body regions: wrists, forearms, elbows, shoulders, neck, trunk, back, legs and knees. After the data for each region is collected and scored, tables on the form are then used to compile the risk factor variables, generating a single score that represents the level of MSD risk.
Using the checklists for lifting and carrying and for pushing and pulling will help to highlight the overall level of risk involved and identify how the job may be modified to reduce the risk of injury and make it easier to do. Work through the three sections of the appropriate checklist:
Section A – Preliminary
Describe the task you are assessing. You may also find it helpful to include diagrams or photographs to illustrate the tasks.
Section B – More detailed assessment
Work through the list of factors and tick the level of risk you believe to be associated
with each of the items. Note down the precise nature of the problem and include suggestions about the remedial action that may be taken. It may also help to write down the names of those you need to consult about implementing the remedial steps. Some tasks may involve more than one operator, each with a different level of risk, depending on what they do. Either note the differences on one checklist or use a separate one for each operator. Return to the end of Section A and decided whether the overall risk of injury is Low, Medium or High. This will help prioritise remedial action if you have a large number of risk assessments to carry out. Ring the appropriate word at the bottom of Section A after you have completed Section B.
Section C – Remedial action to be taken
Summarise the remedial steps that should be taken, in order of priority. Record the assessor’s name, the name of the person responsible for carrying out any remedial action and the date which it should be completed. Only complete the final column once this action has been taken. It may also be useful to enter the target date for reassessment if appropriate. When all the manual handling tasks have been assessed, the completed checklists can be compared to help prioritise the most urgent actions. However, there are likely to be several ways to reduce the risks identified and some will be more effective than others. Do not delay action on those that can be implemented easily and quickly simply because they may be less effective than others. Check at a later date to make sure that the remedial action to remove or reduce the risk of injury has been effective. The checklists will help bring out a range of ideas on how the risks identified can be avoided or reduced by making modifications to the load, the task and the working
environment. Remember a solution should primarily be sought to completely remove the handling risk where possible. The steps taken to reduce the risk of MSDs should be appropriate and address the problem in a realistic, practical and effective way. After implementing any changes that reduce the level of risk, returning to the task at a later date and completing another assessment will help to see if your solution has been successful in reducing MSD risk. Discuss the changes with the handlers, or regularly check accident and ill health data and their causes. If the changes do not have the desired result, reassess the situation. The assessment should be kept up to date and reviewed if new information. comes to light or if there has been a significant change in the manual handling operations. It should also be reviewed if, for example, there is an accident/ incident or a case of ill health as a result of manual handling operations.