In early years settings, manual handling encompasses a range of activities, from lifting children to moving furniture and equipment. These tasks, while seemingly simple, carry risks if not done correctly.

The Risks Involved

Manual handling can lead to injuries, particularly musculoskeletal disorders like strains and sprains. These are often due to lifting heavy objects, awkward postures, or repetitive movements.

Promoting Safe Practices

  1. Education and Training: Staff should be trained in proper lifting techniques, understanding how to assess and manage risks.
  2. Use of Equipment: Utilize manual handling aids like trolleys and ergonomic furniture. These tools reduce the strain on staff and improve safety.
  3. Creating a Safe Environment: Regular risk assessments and adapting tasks to minimize hazardous manual handling are key.
  4. Encouraging Teamwork: Promoting a culture where staff feel comfortable asking for help when needed.

The Role of Employers

Employers have a responsibility to ensure a safe working environment. This includes providing training, the right equipment, and fostering a safety-first culture.


Manual handling is an integral part of working in early years settings. By understanding the risks and implementing safe practices, we can create a nurturing and safe environment for both children and staff.