Physical effort

Download Full Handbook Download This Section

This factor measures the nature, level, frequency and duration of the physical effort (sustained effort at a similar level or sudden explosive effort) required for the job. It takes account of any circumstances that may affect the degree of effort required, such as working in an awkward position or confined space. The job requires:

Level 1:  A combination of sitting, standing and walking with little requirement for physical effort. There may be a requirement to exert light physical effort for short periods.
Level 2:  (a) There is a frequent requirement for sitting or standing in a restricted position for a substantial proportion of the working time, or
(b) there is a frequent requirement for light physical effort for several short periods during a shift, or
(c) there is an occasional requirement to exert light physical effort for several long periods during a shift, or
(d) there is an occasional requirement to exert moderate physical effort for several short periods during a shift.
Level 3:    (a) There is a frequent requirement to exert light physical effort for several long periods during a shift, or
(b) there is an occasional requirement to exert moderate physical effort for several long periods during a shift, or
(c) there is a frequent requirement to exert moderate physical effort for several short periods during a shift.
Level 4: (a) There is an ongoing requirement to exert light physical effort, or
(b) there is a frequent requirement to exert moderate physical effort for several long periods during a shift, or
(c) there is an occasional requirement to exert intense physical effort for several short periods during a shift.
Level 5: (a) There is an ongoing requirement to exert moderate physical effort, or
(b) there is a frequent requirement to exert intense physical effort for several short periods during a shift, or
(c) there is an occasional requirement to exert intense physical effort for several long periods during a shift.

Definitions and notes:

Light physical effort (levels 2 to 4)
means lifting, pushing, pulling objects weighing from two to five kilos; bending/kneeling/crawling; working in cramped conditions; working at heights; walking more than a kilometre at any one time.

Sitting or standing in a restricted position (level 2a) restricted by the nature of the work in a position which cannot easily be changed e.g. inputting at a keyboard, wearing a telephone headset, in a driving position, sitting at a microscope examining slides; standing at a machine in a restricted area; standing while making sandwiches or serving meals on a conveyor belt system.

Moderate physical effort (levels 2 to 5) means lifting, pushing, pulling objects weighing from six to fifteen kilos; controlled restraint of patients e.g. in mental health or learning disabilities situations; sudden explosive effort such as running from a standing start; clearing tables; moving patients/heavy weights (over fifteen kilos) with mechanical aids including hoists and trolleys; manoeuvring patients/clients into position e.g. for treatment or personal care purposes; transferring patient/clients from a bed to a chair or similar.

Intense physical effort (levels 4 to 5) means lifting, pushing, pulling objects weighing over fifteen kilos with no mechanical aids; sudden explosive effort such as running from a standing start pushing a trolley; heavy manual digging, lifting heavy containers; heavy duty pot washing.

Occasional at least three times per month but fewer than half the shifts worked, a shift being a period of work.

Frequent occurs on half the shifts worked or more, a shift being a period of work.

Several periods this applies to jobs where there are repeated recurrences of physical effort and does not apply to jobs where the effort in question occurs only once per shift. For example, level 3c applies to jobs involving the repeated moving or manoeuvring of patients, with mechanical or human assistance, into positions in which care or treatment can be carried out.

Weights quoted are illustrative only. Evaluators should take into account the difficulty of the lifting.

Ongoing is continuously or almost continuously.

Short periods are up to and including 20 minutes.

Long periods are over 20 minutes.

Walking or driving to work is not included.

Latest Tweets

Latest Blog Post

Integration on the front line - NHS reservists working together

06 / 9 / 2019 2pm

Gemma Wright, programme lead for the Armed Forces programme, blogs about her experience on a military reservists hospital training exercise.

Why Register?

Sounds great, what next?

Not now, I will register later

Log In