How long should a manual handling courses last?

Jason Kearns

There is no specific time or duration for the length of a manual handling course. Manual handling training should cover certain topics and be specific to the employee's work activities. A manual handling course should cover the legislation that relates specifically to manual handling, i.e. the general application regulations 2007 chapter 5 of part two regulation 68 and 69 manual handling of loads. The course should also cover anatomy and injury that explains to employees how they can become injured and how to avoid the risk of injury. Training should also cover dynamic risk assessments for employees. Finally, the course should cover lifting techniques, particularly a ground lift, bench lift, height lift, pushing, pulling, awkward loads and team lift.

The training in lifting should also relate to the loads that employees will lift at work.

What extremely important to note is that the health and safety authority has indicated that manual handling on its own will not reduce the risk of injury and should only be used in conjunction with Regulation 68 and 69 which takes a preventative approach to manual handling.


A rough guide to how long the class should last would be 3-4 hours; this can also be a lot less or more depending on the manual handling activities that the employee is required to carry out. For example, if the only manual handling activity, the employee carries out in an office is lifting a ream of paper once in a blue moon, well then that training could be relatively short. However, if the employee works in a factory and must lift multiple items of varying sizes and shape, well then the training would more likely take a lot longer than three hours.

Check out our online Manual Handling Training

Author: Jason Kearns