HSE to Increase Inspections of Moving and Handling Practices in Construction

Construction worker carrying an plank of wood

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is set to increase inspections of moving and handling practices in construction sites across the UK in September 2023. This is part of the HSE’s ongoing campaign to prevent ill health from moving and handling materials, which is a major cause of work-related injuries and illnesses in the construction industry.

What is Moving and Handling?

Moving and handling refers to the tasks involved in transporting or supporting loads. This can include lifting, lowering, carrying, pushing, pulling, or otherwise moving objects. In the construction industry, moving and handling can be a particularly hazardous activity, as workers are often required to lift and move heavy materials.

The Risks of Moving and Handling

Moving and handling can cause a variety of injuries, including:

  • Back pain
  • Whiplash
  • Shoulder injuries
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs)

These injuries can have a significant impact on workers’ health and well-being, and can also lead to lost productivity and increased healthcare costs.

How to Prevent Moving and Handling Injuries

The HSE has a number of guidance documents on how to prevent moving and handling injuries in the workplace. These documents recommend a number of control measures, including:

  • Avoiding the need for manual handling wherever possible
  • Using mechanical aids
  • Organizing the work to reduce the risk of injury
  • Providing training to workers on safe moving and handling techniques

HSE Inspections

During the upcoming inspections, HSE inspectors will be checking that construction sites are complying with the relevant regulations on moving and handling. They will also be looking for evidence of good practice, such as the use of mechanical aids and the provision of training to workers.

What Can You Do to Be Compliant?

If you are a construction business, there are a number of things you can do to be compliant with the HSE’s moving and handling regulations. These include:

  • Carrying out a risk assessment to identify the hazards associated with moving and handling in your workplace
  • Implementing control measures to reduce the risks of injury
  • Providing training to workers on safe moving and handling techniques

By taking these steps, you can help to protect your workers from the risks of moving and handling injuries.

For more information on moving and handling in construction, please visit the HSE website:


Here are some additional tips for safe moving and handling:

  • Get help if you are lifting or moving a heavy object.
  • Use your legs, not your back, to lift.
  • Keep your back straight and bend your knees.
  • Hold the object close to your body.
  • Lift and lower the object smoothly.
  • Take regular breaks.

By following these tips, you can help to reduce your risk of injury when moving and handling materials.

How can Refocus Safety help?

Refocus Safety Ltd is a leading provider of construction health and safety services. We offer a comprehensive range of services, including site inspections, risk assessments, and training. Our team of experienced professionals can help you to comply with all relevant regulations and prevent moving and handling injuries.

If you are a construction business, we urge you to take steps to protect your workers from the risks of moving and handling injuries. By carrying out a risk assessment, implementing control measures, and providing training to workers, you can help to create a safe working environment for everyone.

Refocus Safety Ltd can help you with all of these steps. We offer a free consultation to discuss your needs and develop a customized plan to improve your moving and handling safety. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

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