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Clinical guidelines

The first national policy on Safe Patient Handling, was enacted in the UK in 1992. Since then, we have seen similar legislations in the US and countries around the world.

In 2012 the first ISO Technical Report was published. The manual handling of residents/patients can pose a serious risk to healthcare workers. As a result, a number of initiatives (and legislations) have been introduced around the world. This page provides a list of links to some of the current official guidelines on safe patient handling.


International & national safe patient handling guidelines & legislation around the world

ISO/TR 12296:2012.   Ergonomics - the manual handling of people in the healthcare sector.
An easy-to-read edited summary is available for download here
The full ISO/TR 12296:2012 report is available for purchase via the ISO website.


Transferring people safely - a handbook for workplaces, Edition No 3, 2009 (EN).

Residental care service - Victoria (EN)


Handle with care: patient handling and the application of ergonomics (MSI) requirements. WorkSafeBC British Columbia, Canada, 2006 (EN).


Praktijkrichtlijnen fysieke belasting voor zorgverleners (Dutch guidelines for practice, in Dutch).

New Zealand

The New Zealand patient handling guidelines, The LITEN UP approach (EN).


A lift for healthcare. ADI 581, Swedish Work Environment Authority (EN).


The manual handling operations regulations 1992, No 2793 (EN).
All Wales NHS manual handling training passport information scheme, 2008 (EN).

Guidance on the management of manual handling in healthcare Health & Safety Authority, 2011 (EN).

Royal College of Nursing - manual handling assessments in hospitals and the community. RCN London, 2003 (EN).

Manual handling training guidelines. Issue 2, revised at the request of the National Executive of National Back Exchange, 2002 (EN).


Patient handling and movement assessments, a white paper. The Facility Guideline Institute – 2010 (EN).

Guidelines for nursing homes. Ergonomics for the prevention of musculoskeletal disorders. OSHA 3182-3R 2009 (EN).

A back injury prevention guide for healthcare providers. OSHA, California, 2007 (EN).