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Manual Handling for Assessors (including NEBOSH HSE Certificate in Manual Handling Risk Assessment)

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20 September 2023


In 2020/21, nearly half a million workers suffered from new or longstanding musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).

As one of the leading causes of occupational ill health, preventing new MSDs is a key priority for HSE.

Poor manual handling is a major cause of MSDs and this course will equip you with the knowledge to recognise, assess and reduce manual handling risks in your organisation.

As well as providing you with an overview of the principles of manual handling, the course will also guide you through the suite of practical manual handling assessment tools developed by HSE, showing you how they can be used as part of the risk assessment process. These include the Manual Handling Assessment Charts (the MAC tool) and the Risk Assessment of Pushing and Pulling (RAPP) tool.

Additionally, as part of the course, you will complete the newly developed qualification, the NEBOSH HSE Certificate in Manual Handling Risk Assessment, which will allow you to formally recognise your learning.

The course is delivered by Matthew Birtles, a Principal HSE Ergonomist who specialises in MSDs and was part of the team that developed the MAC and RAPP tools.

Matthew is also the principal developer of the NEBOSH qualification and first started delivering manual handling training over 15 years ago.

Sharing his many years' experience using the tools in industry during site visits, Matthew also provides insight into what the regulator will look for when it comes to the effective risk management of manual handling.

In the video below, Matthew provides further information about the course content. Can't see the video? View it here.


The course will cover:

  • the principles of manual handling
  • the most common types of injuries
  • the legal aspects
  • the key risk factors
  • the manual handling risk assessment process (L23 and MAC)
  • assessing risk of pushing and pulling using the RAPP tool
  • the control and reduction of risk
  • the key principles of good handling techniques
  • insight from industry and case studies
  • formal assessment of knowledge, leading to recognised qualification
"Taking the positive, achievable steps covered in this new qualification will help organisations prevent workplace MSD injuries and reduce related ill health."

Matthew Birtles, Principal Ergonomist, HSE

Who should attend?

This course is suited to employers and employee representatives who intend to begin the process of manual handling risk assessment and control within their companies. It will also benefit those already involved in manual handling risk reduction who require more formal or in-depth training in this subject, including training in the use of specific manual handling assessment tools.

How is the qualification assessed?

A practical assessment is completed at the end of the course. You will be asked to watch a video of a manual handling activity in a workplace and then assess it using HSE tools and templates.


The course will be run at the HSE Science and Research Centre in the spa town of Buxton. Buxton is in the heart of the Peak District and has good links to mainline train stations and Manchester International Airport. This course can be run at your site or local area by arrangement.

Details of hotels in the Buxton area can be found at


£545 per person (includes NEBOSH registration fee, course notes, lunch and refreshments).

Book Course

Please note that all courses must be paid for via credit card at the time of booking.

Some of our training courses can also be delivered in-company, please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Telephone: +44 (0)203 028 3704

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