Manual handling means the use of force by a person to lift, push, pull, carry, or otherwise restrain any object. It is more than just lifting or carrying something. Manual handling includes pulling a lever, restraining an animal or using a tool or instrument, even working at a computer!
Injuries due to manual handling, sprains and strains, are the most common injuries suffered by workers across all workplaces, and in all industries. They are also are responsible for 55 per cent of all WorkCover claims, and 70 per cent of claims over 1 year's length. Ergonomics and manual handling were the top hazards identified by health and safety reps in the national ACTU survey done in September 2001. This is despite the fact that Victoria has had regulations and a code of practice for manual handling for over 14 years.