MANUAL HANDLING - THE HIDDEN COSTS

 

 
Written by Richmond Hannah / Ian Bell   
Monday, 26 October 2009

You won't find any of these stories in the media - unlike the road accidents because there is no “blood on the floor” yet there are 400 people in Victoria hurt each week with manual handling injuries.  That is a massive 20,800 people per year in one Australian State alone. Some of these people are affected for life and the effect on their families and employers cannot be underestimated. Worksafe is currently focussing attention on Victoria’s biggest cause of workplace injuries – manual handling and slips, trips and falls.
 
Musculoskeletal injuries cost the community $A600m each year in treatment and rehabilitation yet are amongst the easiest to prevent with some simple manual handling training, job design review and some manual handling aids.
 
Worksafe advise that there are 2 classes of musculoskeletal injury:

  • Subversive injuries which develop over years because of heavy lifting, carrying loads, twisting and repetitive movement or vibration – these are simply the wearing out of the body parts over time.
  • Slips, trips and falls resulting from a set of circumstances at a particular time such as a sudden jerk lift, not cleaning up a spill on the floor so you slip, over-reaching and falling or numerous others.

Worksafe have an excellent website which gives examples of manual handling safety at http://www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/backonsafety

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