Unit of competency details

HLTHSE204D - Follow safe manual handling practices (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Supersedes and is equivalent to HLTHSE204B - Follow safe manual handling practices 06/May/2012
Supersedes and is equivalent to HLTHSE204C - Follow safe manual handling practicesISC upgrade changes to remove references to old OHS legislation and replace with references to new WHS legislation. No change to competency outcome. 06/May/2012
Is superseded by HLTWHS005 - Conduct manual tasks safelyThis version was released in HLT Health Training Package release 2.0 and meets the requirements of the 2012 Standards for Training Packages. Significant changes to the elements and performance criteria. New evidence requirements for assessment, including volume and frequency requirements. Significant change to knowledge evidence. 05/Aug/2015

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 07/May/2012

Training packages that include this unit


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 061301 Occupational Health And Safety  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 061301 Occupational Health And Safety  02/Oct/2012 
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Modification History

HLT07 Version 4

HLT07 Version 5


HLTHSE204C Follow safe manual handling practices

HLTHSE204D Follow safe manual handling practices

ISC upgrade changes to remove references to old OHS legislation and replace with references to new WHS legislation. No change to competency outcome.

Unit Descriptor


This unit is concerned with the workers ability to carry out their work in a safe manner within the health care environment

Work will usually be performed within a prescribed range of functions involving known routines and procedures

Application of the Unit


This unit is based on the National Guidelines for Integrating Occupational Health and Safety Competencies into National Industry Competency Standards, National Code of Practice for Manual Handling 1990, An Employer's Guide to the Manual Tasks Advisory Standard 2000, National Standard for Manual Handling (1990), the Work Health and Safety Act (2011), Safe Work Australia publications

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not Applicable


Not Applicable

Employability Skills Information

Employability Skills 

This unit contains Employability Skills

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements define the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

The Performance Criteria specify the level of performance required to demonstrate achievement of the Element. Terms in italics are elaborated in the Range Statement.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Follow organisation procedures, for a particular task, to minimise risk of injury

1.1 Use appropriate posture and handling techniques to reduce muscle load on exertion

1.2 Manage work tasks involving vibration in accordance with workplace policies and procedures

1.3 Use appropriate manual handling techniques and equipment to meet customer needs within own scope of responsibility

1.4 Package loads appropriately for easy handling

1.5 Follow lifting limitations prescribed within relevant guidelines

1.6 Use safe work practices in handling loads

1.7 Wear appropriate personal protective equipment

2. Utilise and implement strategies as directed to improve workplace organisation

2.1 Identify work health and safety (WHS) hazards, assess risk and report to supervisor

2.2 Contribute to workplace design and task analysis to ensure appropriate work areas are developed

2.3 Follow workplace policies and procedures in relation to pacing and scheduling of tasks

2.4 Carry out equipment and environmental maintenance in accordance with a workplace preventative maintenance schedule

2.5 Follow workplace procedures for reporting symptoms and injuries to self and or others

2.6 Follow workplace procedures for any return to work program

Required Skills and Knowledge

This describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level required for this unit.

Essential knowledge:

The candidate must be able to demonstrate essential knowledge required to effectively do the task outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage the task and manage contingencies in the context of the identified work role

This includes knowledge of:

  • Legislative requirements and best practice approaches to WHS
  • Location and use of safety equipment such as fire extinguishers and emergency units and alarms
  • Potential hazards in the workplace and the risks/potential risks of certain behaviours, layouts/features
  • Reporting mechanisms required for workplace injury and compensation claims
  • Rights and obligations of employees and employers regarding WHS
  • Significant hazards in the workplace both indoors and outdoors
  • Workplace procedures that apply to fire, accidents and emergency situations

Essential skills:

It is critical that the candidate demonstrate the ability to:

  • Work safely using safe manual handling techniques and equipment
  • Comply with the organisation's WHS policies and procedures
  • Implement strategies designed to improve manual handling processes within the workplace

In addition, the candidate must be able to effectively do the task outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage the task and manage contingencies in the context of the identified work role

This includes the ability to:

  • Apply lifting, lowering and transfer techniques of manual handling
  • Apply safe handling practices and other safety procedures
  • Demonstrate correct use of equipment according to manufacturers' specifications
  • Implement practices to prevent or minimise risk
  • Take into account opportunities to address waste minimisation, environmental responsibility and sustainable practice issues
  • Use reading and writing skills required to fulfil job roles in a safe manner and as specified by organisation/service, which may include the ability to:
  • understand symbols used in WHS signs
  • read workplace safety pamphlets or procedure manuals
  • read labels and handling chemicals such as cleaning fluids
  • understand that literacy support is available in the workplace and may range from having access to support or assistance from expert/mentor/supervisor, to having no communication supports available
  • literacy in English or a community language depending on the language used in pamphlets or workplace manuals
  • Use oral communication skills required to fulfil job roles in a safe manner and as specified by the organisation/service, including skills in:
  • asking questions
  • providing clear information
  • listening to and understanding workplace instructions
  • clarifying workplace instructions when necessary
  • English or a community language, depending on client group

Evidence Guide

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the Performance Criteria, Required Skills and Knowledge, the Range Statement and the Assessment Guidelines for this Training Package.

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate this competency unit:

  • The individual being assessed must provide evidence of specified essential knowledge as well as skills
  • This unit is most appropriately assessed in the workplace or in a simulated workplace and under the normal range of workplace conditions
  • This unit can be assessed independently however holistic assessment practice with other general health services units of competency is encouraged

Context and resources for assessment:

  • Resource requirements may include access to:
  • workplace health and safety policies and procedures
  • infection control procedures
  • other organisation policies and procedures
  • duties statements and/or job descriptions
  • manual handling equipment
  • Assessment may include:
  • observation of performance
  • written tasks
  • interviewing and questioning
  • formal appraisal systems
  • staff/client feedback
  • portfolio/CV
  • supporting statement of supervisor(s)
  • authenticated evidence of relevant work experience and/or formal/informal learning
  • case studies and scenarios as a basis for discussion of issues and strategies to contribute to best practice in the work environment

Access and equity considerations:

  • All workers in the health industry should be aware of access and equity issues in relation to their own area of work
  • All workers should develop their ability to work in a culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) environment
  • In recognition of particular health issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, workers should be aware of cultural, historical and current issues impacting on health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • Assessors and trainers must take into account relevant access and equity issues, in particular relating to factors impacting on health of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander clients and communities

Range Statement

The Range Statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Add any essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts.

Appropriate posture and handling techniques may include:

  • Bending from the knees
  • Maintaining a straight back when lifting and carrying
  • Using two hands to lift or carry
  • Avoiding lifting objects above shoulder height
  • Adopting non repetitive movements
  • Positions not held for long periods of time
  • Correct use of mechanical aids

Workplace policies and procedures will include:

  • Hazard identification policies and procedures
  • Emergency, fire and accident procedures
  • Procedures for the use of personnel clothing and equipment
  • Hazard identification and issue resolution procedures
  • Job procedures and work instructions
  • Waste management
  • Security procedures

Manual handling equipment may include:

  • Lifting apparatus
  • Hoists
  • Trolleys
  • Belts
  • Pallet jacks

Personal protective equipment may include:

  • Plastic aprons
  • Gowns
  • Gloves including heavy duty
  • Overalls
  • Enclosed shoes
  • Eye protection

Hazards include:

  • Manual handling
  • Client handling
  • Toxic or hazardous substances/radiation
  • RSI prevention mandatory

Supervisor may by:

  • Nominated personnel
  • WHS representative

Workplace organisation may include:

  • Grievance procedures
  • Appropriate induction of staff
  • Team meetings
  • Debriefing procedures following crisis
  • Management performance levels
  • Employee assistance with problems and introducing them to services available in the community

Return to work program may include:

  • Persons returning from injury and/or stress
  • Persons returning after extended leave

Unit Sector(s)

Not Applicable