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Hazardous manual task training

Make sure you're providing suitable and adequate training for your workers.

Training is important to support other solutions you have in place to make work safer.

Why training is important?

  • Hazardous manual task (HMT) training is important as it supports other solutions that have been put in place (e.g. describing what equipment is needed and how to use it, to safely perform specific HMT).
  • Training also assists workers and management to identify and understand HMT, the risk factors that cause them and solutions used to reduce the risk.
  • Training your workforce on your safety systems and procedures is a legal requirement.


Suitable training must be provided about hazardous manual tasks (HMT).

Lifting technique training (e.g. bend your knees, keep your back straight) is not suitable HMT training and does not comply with legislation for HMT training. Lifting technique training does not reduce the risk of sprain and strain injuries.

Find out more about why lifting technique training is not effective, and what workers should be doing instead.

What does suitable HMT training cover?

  • Manual task risk management
    • Identifying HMT
    • HMT risk factors – force, postures, vibration, repetition, duration, mental stress-work pressure
    • Control measures used to minimise the risk factors.
  • How to perform specific manual tasks safely – including use of relevant mechanical aids, tools, equipment and safe work procedures.
  • How to report problems or maintenance issues.

Training needs to use language and examples that are understood by all workers who receive the training.

Who needs to be trained?

  • Workers who perform, supervise or manage HMT
  • Staff responsible for:
    • selection and maintenance of equipment (e.g. engineers, maintenance, in-house designers, purchasing staff)
    • design and organisation of jobs/tasks e.g. supervisors, managers, HR and rostering/scheduling staff.
  • Health and safety representatives.

When do workers need to be trained?

  • When starting a new job (e.g. induction).
  • On an ongoing basis.
  • When a risk of sprain or strain injuries remains after higher order controls (e.g. automation, mechanical devices) are put in place. The remaining risk must be minimised by providing administrative controls.

When should training be reviewed?

  • On an ongoing basis.
  • When work processes, plant or equipment change.
  • When new controls are implemented.
  • After any other changes that affect how tasks are performed.
  • When legislation changes.

Training records

  • Keep records of induction and on-going HMT training.
  • Include the date training was conducted, topics covered (e.g. outline of the training content), name and signature of the trainer and workers who attended each session.



View more information about hazardous manual tasks.