NHS Scotland Guide to Careers as a Moving and Handling Coordinator/Trainer/Adviser

There are now strict laws designed to ensure that employers take action to prevent injury as a result of manual handling. The main law is the Manual Handling Operations Regulations. Employers are also required to have a written policy as part of their overall safety policy. Current figures from the Health and Safety Executive indicate that 60% of all manual handling accidents reported (over 14,000 a year) involve patient handling.

The prime purpose of the Moving and Handling Co-ordinator / Adviser’s job is to reduce the risk of musculo-skeletal injury to NHS staff and patients. The main aspects of the job include:

    * To provide interpretation of Manual Handling Legislation and relevant professional guidelines, codes of practice and advise on compliance and management of this within the organisation and external agencies.
    * To lead on the implementation of the Manual Handling Service, adopting changes to ensure the implementation of safe working systems, in line with the Manual Handling Operations Regulations
    * Developing and delivering in-service training, which is relevant and tailored, in order to meet the specific needs of all staff within clinical and non-clinical areas.
    * Providing specialist advice in undertaking manual handling risk assessments in a wide variety of areas.
    * Providing onsite specialist advice and guidance in relation to complex manual handling situations
    * Providing specialist advice and making recommendations on the purchasing and use of manual handling/workstation equipment
    * Assisting as specialists in the investigation of all reported manual handling –related incidents
    * Ensuring the dissemination of and monitoring of good practice
    * Giving recommendations to facilitate safer systems of work

Entry Requirements
You need to be a Registered Nurse or Allied Health Professional with a degree or professionally equivalent qualification, with 5 years clinical experience. In addition a knowledge and understanding of the following legislation is required:

    * The Health and Safety at Work Act, 1974
    * Manual Handling Operations Regulations, 1992
    * Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations, 1999
    * Display Screen Equipment Regulations, 1992

You need to be adept at creative problem solving and possess high level influencing and negotiation skills. Well developed verbal and literate skills are also important as you will be interpreting complex legal prose/specialist information into relevant and comprehensible advice.

In-service training to obtain an evidence based manual handling teaching qualification. With experience and further training, there are promotion prospects to more Senior Adviser posts and management positions for those with the right skills and motivation

Further Information
Further information on Manual Handling in the NHS is available on the NHS Plus – Health at Work website; www.nhsplus.nhs.uk

The Working Backs Scotland website provides information on the Working Backs Scotland national public education campaign on back pain; www.workingbacksscotland.com

The Health and Safety Executive’s website also has information on Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) ; www.hse.gov.uk