Lifting and handling in teams

Things to think about when lifting in a team:

  • Team lifting needs to be coordinated properly. Try and make sure that those lifting are around the same height and build, make sure one person is responsible for giving instructions, etc.. Make sure that everyone lifts, moves off, stops and places the load down at the same time.
  • Lifting in teams does not mean that the weight of the load can be doubled for each extra person in the team.
  • For example, for a lifting team of two people the load should only be increased by two thirds the sums of their individual capabilities.
  • This means that if the risk assessment decided that it was okay for one person to lift a load of 20kg, using two people would mean that the load should not exceed around 26.6kg – not that it’s okay to lift a load of 40kg.
  • Similarly, for a three-person team the capability is half the sum of their individual capabilities, not three times each persons. The HSE advise that teams of more than four members are unlikely to work successfully.

More detailed information on team manual handling can be found via the Health and Safety Executive website MAC tool.

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