National Standard for Manual Tasks - Australian Government

Service summary

You must comply with this standard if you are going to be involved in manual work. This standard applies to employers, owners and employees of workplaces, designers and manufacturers or suppliers of workplace-related items.

The standard sets out the principles for the effective management of hazardous manual tasks to avert injuries arising from manual tasks in the workplace.

Manual task means a task comprised wholly or partly by any activity requiring a person to perform work that includes the use of force for lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling, carrying or otherwise moving, holding or restraining any person, animal or item.

Hazardous manual tasks can include:

  • Repetitive or sustained awkward posture;
  • Sustained movement or application of force;
  • The application of high force (e.g. hitting something with a hammer);
  • Exposure to sustained vibration (e.g. using a drill for an extended period);
  • Working with people or animals;
  • Handling unstable or unbalanced loads; or
  • Handling loads which are difficult to grasp or hold.

Please consult the Contact Officer for more information and to ascertain the level of compliance (if any) that may be required.

Service type

Code of Practice

A code of practice can be either a legal requirement or non-legal requirement. Legal codes of practice are defined as a result of legislation. Non-legal codes of practice are defined by industry regulators and bodies.

Administering agency

Safe Work Australia
Explosives and Guidance Branch
Codes and Guidance

Act(s) name

Safe Work Australia Act 2008 (Australian Government)

Regulation(s) name

Safe Work Australia (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Regulations 2010 (Australian Government)

Contact details

General Enquiries
Safe Work Australia
Explosives and Guidance Branch
Codes and Guidance

Operating address:
220 Northbourne Avenue
Australian Capital Territory 2612
Mailing address:
GPO Box 641
Australian Capital Territory 2601




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