What is pushing and pulling?

Pushing and pulling of loads is a way to avoid manual lifting and carrying of objects such as by putting the load on a trolley.

However, when people push and pull, for example trollies, there may be risk of other musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), which you need to consider and eliminate or reduce.

Although you may think that the Manual Handling Operations Regulations only apply to the lifting, lowering and carrying of loads, they also apply to pushing and pulling. This “pushing and pulling” guide should help you comply with the regulations.

A new risk assessment tool for pushing and pulling operations (the RAPP tool) will be available in 2016.

Statistics on pushing and pulling from RIDDOR
Statistics can be seen below that give you an idea of how important it is to eliminate or reduce pushing and pulling risk factors.

11% of manual handling – related RIDDOR accidents investigated by HSE involved pushing and pulling.
The most frequently reported site of injury was the back (44%).
Followed by the upper limbs (shoulder, arms, wrist and hand) accounted for 28.6%.
12% more accidents involved pulling than pushing (where the activity could be identified within the reports).
61% of accidents involved pushing and pulling objects that were not supported on wheels (e.g. bales, desks etc.)
35% of pushing and pulling accidents involved wheeled objects.

Published by HSE

See how a pedestrian tug an electric tug or a tractive unit can improve your pushing and pulling operations.