Manual Handling Policy

Imperial College Union is committed to ensuring the health, safety and welfare of its members, staff, customers, suppliers, visitors, and all others who may be affected by its activities and recognises its responsibility for manual handling under The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (as amended) require the Union to avoid hazardous manual handling as far as reasonably practicable; assess the risk of injury from any such tasks that cannot be avoided; and introduce measures to reduce these risks as far as reasonably practicable. 

1. Definition

Manual handling operations involve the transporting or supporting by hand or using bodily force of any load, and include lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling, or carrying. Risks from manual handling can be found across all roles including office-based roles. 

It is the Union’s Policy to: 

  • Ensure that staff and students are protected from the risk of injury through manual handling;

  • Eliminate the need for hazardous manual handling where it is reasonably practicable to do so;

  • Assess and reduce risk of injury arising from manual handling operations that cannot be avoided;

  • Provide staff and students with appropriate information, instruction and training to achieve the above. 

2. Responsibilities

  • ICU Board of Trustees

    The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 places a statutory duty on organisations to ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, the safety, health, and welfare of its employees at work and other people who may be affected by their activities, e.g., membership, volunteers, members of the public.  

    The Board of Trustees, as the governing body of the Union, has overall and final responsibility for Health and Safety matters within the Union, and for ensuring that Health and Safety legislation is complied with.

  • Managing Director (MD)

    The Trustee Board has devolved day-to-day responsibility for Health, Safety and Welfare to the Managing Director.   

    The MD, and those acting on their behalf, will ensure: 

    • Ensure that adequate arrangements are in place to achieve compliance with the policy;

    • MD delegates responsibility for undertaking aspects of these duties through line management & identified roles.

  • Senior Leadership Team

    The Managing Director will delegate to the membership of the leadership team the following responsibility:  

    • Monitoring and reviewing the effectiveness of Health and Safety activities and the Union's Health and Safety Policy and associated policies and procedures, and for ensuring that, at the strategic level, performance standards and timescales are adhered to.  

    • Chairing the Students' Union’s Health and Safety Committee and ensuring it has the time, facilities and resources to carry out its business effectively.  

    • Keeping under review this Health and Safety Policy and the Health and Safety performance of the Students' Union. 

  • Facilities, Health and Safety Manger (FHSM)

    The FHSM is appointed by the MD to undertake the following: 

    • Appoint one or more competent persons as manual handling assessors to oversee implementation of the policy;

    • Ensure that risk assessments of hazardous manual handling tasks are carried out and recorded when appropriate;

    • Ensure appropriate mechanical aids & equipment are available;

    • Ensure information on Principles of Safe Lifting Practice is provided at induction of all new staff and students.

  • Imperial College Union Line Managers

    Health and Safety is a delegated line management responsibility requiring managers to undertake operational Health and Safety duties identified in this policy. Imperial College Union Line Managers to undertake the following:   

    • Identify all manual handling activities and consider whether they are likely to cause injury to the individual(s) concerned with the task; 

    • Consider whether the task can be avoided completely e.g., by mechanisation, use of wheeled equipment etc;

    • Inform the Departmental Manual Handling Assessor of tasks that cannot be avoided that requiring detailed written risk assessment and subsequent safe system of work developed;

    • Ensuring risk assessments are undertaken and made available to all employees;

    • Provide training in manual handling for relevant staff members. 

  • Staff and Students

    Individual members of staff, students and visitors have a legal duty to co-operate and comply at all times with the ICU Health and Safety Policy, instruction and training provided. Staff and students are responsible for: 

    • Following guidelines and instruction provided; 

    • Participating in training as required;

    • Informing their manager/ supervisor, when appropriate, if affected by an illness or injury which may impair their ability to handle loads safely;

    • To notify their manager/supervisor if they identify any hazardous handling activities;

    • Informing their manager/supervisor of any injuries, accidents or near misses resulting from manual handling;

    • Making use of any equipment provided, in accordance with their training and instruction;

    • To ensure their activities do not put others at risk.

  • Imperial College London

    The Students' Union, whilst an independent charity in its own right, is an integral part of the Imperial College community and could not exist without the College. The Union and College work in partnership to ensure that adequate measures are in place to ensure health, safety and welfare within the Union. The Union is committed to working with the Imperial College London Safety department and where appropriate, ensuring that the Union's Health and Safety Policy, Codes of Practice and arrangements are in accordance with the College Health and Safety Policy, Codes of Practice and arrangements. 

    The Union is in an unusual position in that whilst colleagues work directly for the Students' Union their contracts of employment are with the College. Whilst the Union accepts its duty of care and responsibilities, the College also has a duty to ensure, and support, the safe management and operation of the Students' Union.