National Standard for Manual Tasks - Australian Government


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 is a set of rules which details how people in a certain industry should behave. A code of practice can be defined as a result of legislation or by industry regulators and bodies.


Act(s) name

Safe Work Australia Act 2008 AG

Regulation(s) name

Safe Work Australia (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Regulations 2010 AG

Administering agency

Safe Work Australia

Explosives and Guidance Branch

Codes and Guidance

Contact details

Contact Email, Phone and Address Details for this service in simple two column table format, header then data.

General Enquiries

Codes and Guidance

Explosives and Guidance Branch

Safe Work Australia

Operating address: 220 Northbourne Avenue
Australian Capital Territory 2612
Mailing address: GPO BOX 641
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601
Phone: 1300 551 832