Safe Use of Disability Equipment and Manual Handling: Legal Aspects – Part 2, Manual Handling

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Part 1 of this article dealt with disability equipment. Part 2 deals with the law of manual handling and its practical implications for occupational therapists and their patients, clients and colleagues. It does so by considering the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 themselves together with associated guidance, complementary health and safety at work legislation, the common law of negligence and a substantial body of case law handed down from the courts. In particular, it covers legal terms such as reasonable practicability, risk assessments and resource implications, emergency or exceptional situations, and balancing the health and safety of staff with the needs and wishes of patients and clients.

It is concluded that an awareness of manual handling law is likely to facilitate better understanding and organisation of responsibilities, policies, procedures and practices. In turn, this will benefit staff, patients and clients by raising standards of decision making, and is likely to increase safety, reduce potential legal liability and save time and money.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2001

More about this publication?
  • The British Journal of Occupational Therapy (BJOT) is the official journal of the College of Occupational Therapists. Its purpose is to publish articles relevant to theory, practice, research, education and management in occupational therapy internationally.

    BJOT publishes research articles, critical reviews, practice analyses, opinion pieces, editorials, letters to the editor, book reviews and an annual index. Please refer to the author's guide at

    Submissions can be made at

    The 2013 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 0.897.

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