Moving and Assisting Support

Many people supported by Personal Assistants (PAs) will need support at various times during their day, to move from one place to another. This will be particularly important for people who cannot bear their own weight and will need to use an aid to help them move safely. Part of a PA’s role might be to support the person they are working for to move safely. To do this, PAs need relevant and appropriate training and support.

There are certain legal requirements when it comes to supporting someone to physically move from one place to another. This is often referred to as ‘manual handling’. However, PAs, employers and the person being supported (if they are not the employer) might prefer people to use the term ‘moving and assisting’, which is more respectful of the person.

The types of activity that people might need support with include:

  • Moving from a wheelchair onto a bed or shower chair using a ceiling or freestanding hoist
  • Moving from a chair to a wheelchair using a Turning Stand.

Any activity that requires an individual to lift, move or support a person is classified as a manual handling task. The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 are the main piece of legislation dealing with manual handling. It sets out the main duties for employers and employees.

The regulations explain that first of all you need to avoid manual handling where possible. When this is not possible you need to assess and reduce the risk. There isn’t a weight limit for manual handling within the regulations. Instead an assessment of the tasks required should be carried out to ensure the safety and health of both employees and the employer.

Employers are required to

  • Avoid manual handling, wherever possible
  • Assess the risks of any handling tasks that can’t be avoided
  • Reduce the risk of injury as far as possible.

Employees also have responsibilities

  • To follow safe working guidance provided
  • To use equipment correctly
  • To inform the employer of any handling risks they identify
  • To take care not to put others at risk through their activities
  • To cooperate with their employer on health and safety.

It is important that PA Employers identify appropriate training for PAs to undertake and to give them time to complete this training. It might also be necessary to undertake refresher training at a later date.

Next steps

Talk to your employer about training or updates to your training that you may need. Also take a look at the resources below.

Part of
Last Updated
23 May 2024
First Published
28 March 2022
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Please note that the information contained in this Handbook is provided for guidance purposes only. Every reasonable effort is made to make the information accurate and up to date, but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by Self Directed Support Scotland or any other contributing party.

The information does not, and is not intended to, amount to legal advice. You are strongly advised to obtain specific, personal and professional advice from a lawyer about employment law matters, or an accountant/ tax specialist about taxation matters, and from HMRC and your insurers. You should not rely solely on the information in this Handbook. Support organisations listed in this Handbook can help you find appropriate sources of advice.