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Assessing investment in manual handling risk controls: a scoring system for use in observational studies
  1. J Smedley1,
  2. J Poole1,
  3. E Waclawski2,
  4. A Stevens2,
  5. J Harrison2,
  6. P Buckle3,
  7. D Coggon1
  1. 1MRC Environmental Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton, UK
  2. 2Association of NHS Occupational Physicians Research Committee, UK
  3. 3Robens Centre for Health Ergonomics, European Institute of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Surrey, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr J Smedley
 MRC Environmental Epidemiology Unit, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton SO16 6YD, UK;


Most UK hospitals now have manual handling policies, but few studies have assessed their impact. To facilitate such research, a system for ranking the investment in manual handling risk controls was devised and applied to 109 acute hospitals in the UK. High scoring hospitals performed well on all aspects of manual handling risk management. Low scoring hospitals had a manual handling policy and recorded accidents and sickness absence, but had limited resource for expert manpower and equipment.

  • lifting
  • manual handling
  • nurses
  • occupational disease
  • risk assessment

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