Hazardous Manual Tasks

43,555 serious claims were lodged in 2014-15 for body stressing.

32% of serious claims were for muscular stress while lifting or handling objects.

10% of all serious body stressing claims are lodged by labourers.

8,500 serious claims for body stressing were lodged by employees in the health care and social assistance industry.

For Australia’s workforce, Workplace Musculoskeletal Disorders continue as the leading WHS problem, both in frequency and cost.

Musculoskeletal Disorders may result from a single event, but more commonly arise from cumulative exposure to one or more hazards over an extended period.

Body stressing, is the most commonly reported mechanism of injury for serious Workplace Musculoskeletal Disorders claims, arising from handling, lifting, carrying or putting down of objects; followed by slips, trips and falls.

Repetitive movement, with ‘low muscle loading’, is a relatively uncommon mechanism in relation to the body stressing category.

The most common agency for serious Workplace Musculoskeletal Disorders claims is ‘non-powered hand tools, appliances and equipment’ (hand tools, fastening, packing equipment, furniture, fittings, ladders, scaffolding, etc.).

Workplaces must identify hazardous manual tasks and carry out risk assessments for manual tasks that have the potential to be hazardous.

A well-designed work area, work procedures, ergonomically designed tools and equipment will help eliminate or reduce risk factors associated with hazardous manual tasks.

Irena Stojcevska

Compliance OH&S

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