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'' The UK’s Negligent Online Manual Handling Training Programmes Exposed ''
           Highfield E-Learning ... This should NOT be High on your List!

Written by Qualified Osteopath & Manual Handling Risk Management Expert Gareth Milner
15 minute Read

Before we start, I have something to say. This Blog Post is NOT about bashing this competitor. It is NOT saying they have a rubbish Business or a Service. If you judge it like this, then you will be missing our CORE MESSAGEOnline Manual Handling Training Programmes with this (novice) content WILL cause disabling musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).

Disability … its noun definition ... ‘a physical, mental, cognitive, or developmental condition that impairs, interferes with, or limits a person's ability to engage in certain tasks or actions or participate in typical daily activities and interactions.’

The CORE MESSAGE of this post. How can I make such a statement? I trained for 4 years at the European School of Osteopathy and learnt about every human joint. Its structure and function. I have read extensively in Human Biomechanics including Levangie & Norkin’s ‘setting World standards’ Joint Structure and Function.

If you want to hear my message, that’s great. You will learn a lot about our remarkable human body. You will upskill in your Health & Safety Profession, supporting your climb up the Corporate and Higher Income Ladder (see our Creative Director Emma Farrell's illustration from Sorry! We're Closed below left).

If you don’t want to hear my message, of course that’s your prerogative. But remember, there is nothing wrong, underhand or dishonest about contrarian stand points.

Here's a contrarian story from the early 1980s. Two medical Researchers from Perth, Australia, Barry Marshall and Robin Warren identified a tiny spiral shaped type of bacteria that was duly named H. pylori as the culprit of stomach ulcers. 

Their belief was contrarian to the popular and long held medical view that stress, spicy foods and lots of alcohol was the cause of stomach ulcers. They struggled to get the recognition that this bacteria was the cause. One of the Researchers who heard one of Marshall and Warren’s presentations commented that they ‘simply didn’t have the demeanor of Scientists.’


The scepticism from others included Marshall and Warren were not Doctors yet … that they were from Perth and not another more known worldwide location for Scientific discoveries. In fact, their contrarian view proved …. fact. In 1994, the National Institutes of Health finally endorsed the idea that antibiotics were the preferred treatment for gastric (stomach) ulcers.

In Marshall and Warren’s Bacteria case, and in millions of other cases to this day ‘Most people think X … but actually.’

And I am now going to give you the ‘actually’ using Highfield’s Online Manual Handling Programme as a reference.

On their website there is no information on who has written the content of their Programme. No Expert offered. On this page Highfield state …

‘And with the moving of objects there is often questionable advice from well-meaning friends and colleagues. Injuries as a result of manual handling equate to over one-third of all workplace injuries. This course provides the knowledge and skills to avoid you becoming a part of that statistic.’

‘This course offers a comprehensive guide to best practice when it comes to manual handling.’

Their Cost Per User is £15 and if you train over 100 employees the Cost Per User is £10.

Easy maths this one £10 x 100 employees = £1000. £10 per User represents a third of the IHASCO Programme. Looking at other Programmes from other Companies, the Highfield Programme is cheap for its product type.

Tip 24 - You Get What You Pay for

Here's a Tip 24 snippet from Gareth Milner's Sorry! We're Closed ...

'' Ok. So you have come across a Manual Handling Provider. You say to yourself (in a tone that exudes confirmation bias) .....


‘Their website seems ok'


'They answered the phone straight away.’


‘They are good at getting back to me by email in a reasonable time.’


'And they are cheap!''


Like throughout the Book, Gareth takes a fun, and serious approach to Manual Handling Risk Management supported by our Creative Director Emma Farrell's remarkable illustrations.

Tip 24 - You Get What You Pay for
00:00 / 11:33

Before their Programme appraisal, I am an advocate for Digital forms of Manual Handling Training. There are Pros and Cons. The Pros are discussed in Tip 29 ‘Embrace the World of Digital’ and Tip 40 ‘Sign on the Dotted Line’ from my Book Sorry! We’re Closed. Of course, Programmes with decent, engaging graphics with content that is underpinned by Experts in Musculoskeletal Medicine. 


I am NOT an advocate of programmes with decent, engaging graphics with content underpinned by Novices in Musculoskeletal Medicine, like IHASCO’s. Even more so, I am NOT an advocate of programmes with old fashioned, cheap graphics with content again underpinned by Novices in Musculoskeletal Medicine, like Highfield’s.

With the screenshots of the Highfield Programme visible following (now in this post), early slides include the first in the gallery to the left. As you can see it is a common sense question as clearly they are all Manual Handling Tasks. Ask yourself honestly, if your employee was sitting at a computer with this in front of them, what would they learn? Is this going to help you towards Target-Zero MSDs and Manual Handling Lost Time Accident?

You will see it starts with the standard of these types of Training Programme on this subject, a definition of Manual Handling. Note the ‘pushing’ and ‘pulling’. We will return this note, later.

Earlier we stated the Cost per User is £10 for over 100 employees. You may be a Health & Safety or Learning & Development Professional with say 300 employees to train. That's £3000. Now I would like you to scroll through the slides to the right. First, I want you to maximise them on the screen and as I just said, literally scroll through ALL of them, and with this I want you to make a statement to yourself. Yes, you read me right. A statement to yourself. You will see my prediction of your statement at further in this Blog Post.

Of course, a mini, individual Manual Handling Risk Assessment is essential pre lift, carry, push or pull.

Manual Handling Training DVD.jpg
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