The Best Manual Handling Techniques and Equipment

Moving people who are in nursing homes or hospitals or who are otherwise suffering from permanent or temporary mobility impairment requires manual handling. This can be for simple things like adjusting them to reduce the risk of pressure sores, to moving them from their bed into the bathroom or from their mobility chair back into bed.

Many workplaces in Sydney have a “no lifting” policy and all manual handling of people must occur with the use of equipment.

A man in front of a hoist by a swimming pool

Here are some tips for manually handling people safely using equipment.

Ensure The Safety and Maintenance of your Equipment 

Before using any manual handling equipment, you’ll want to ensure that it is safe. Unsafe equipment can easily lead to injury in both you and the person you are attempting to lift or move with it. All equipment should be regularly maintained to ensure its safety. If you are in a management role at a care facility this is your responsibility.

The Types of Equipment Available 

There are different types of mobility equipment available for manual handling.


These are used to transfer people in and out of beds, cars, and pools. They can be portable or fixed and come in a range of sizes, with different lift capacities.


Slings are used to support a person’s weight. It is important to ensure that the correct type and size are selected.

Transfer Aids 

Transfer aids are various types of aids used to help transfer people from beds and chairs. They vary from simple slide sheets, to slide boards and more sophisticated turners and transfers.

Safety First 

Before undertaking any manual handling of a person, you need to ascertain that the person can comprehend what you are saying and will be reasonably cooperative. If possible, see if they can help you carry out the task.

As mentioned above, check the condition of your equipment and ensure it is in good repair and is well maintained.

Ensure that any hoists and lifts are electrically operated and use overhead tracking hoists wherever practical.

Ensure that hoists can be wheeled under the bed with nothing in the way.

An adjustable electric bed can help the manual handling process by helping to get the person into the best position for movement.

Survey the environment first, and make sure that the floor is free from clutter and tripping hazards. Some furniture may need to be moved if it is in the way.

If you are in a management or HR position, you should check to make sure that all of your staff are trained in manual handling with equipment, and if they aren’t you need to ensure that they become proficient prior to attempting any lifting of patients.

Get in Touch for More Information 

Total Mobility provide a range of mobility services in Sydney,ACT and surrounds. Your mobility is our business. Please call our Sydney office on 02 9520 1866 or our Canberra office on

02 6260 1003 or contact us online.