Information on manual tasks in the workplace
Manual tasks refers to any activity or sequence of activities that requires a person to use their physical
body (musculoskeletal system) to perform work including:
manual handling (the use of force in lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling, carrying or otherwise moving, holding or restraining any person, animal or thing);
performing repetitive actions;
adopting awkward or sustained postures; and
using plant, tools or equipment that exposes workers to vibration.
Those manual tasks that have the potential to cause injury or disease are referred to in this code of
practice as hazardous manual tasks.
Frequently asked questions
- What is the current legislation on manual handling and manual tasks?
- How does performing manual tasks result in injury?
- What are the risk factors?
- What is a safe weight to lift?
- How can hazards be identified?
More frequently asked questions about manual handling can be found here.
Resources available on this subject
Manual tasks training package - Presenters guide
VIDEO: Manual tasks risk management - Running time: 11:32 mins
WORKSHEET: Manual tasks incident investigation (word)
WORKSHEET: Manual tasks risk management tool (pdf)
Hazardous manual tasks
High risk industries
- Accommodation, cafes and restaurants
Health and community
Wholesale and retail
Occupations and workers
- Construction workers
- Bricklaying and manual handling
- Formworkers and manual handling
- Manual handling and blocklayers and stonemasons
- Manual handling electricians
- Manual handling plasterers
- Manual handling and plumbers (water, drainage, gas, sanitary and maintenance)
- Plasterers and manual handling
- Roof carpenters and manual handling
- Manual handling during pregnancy
- Related publications and downloads