VACC: Manual Handling – The Biggest Cause of Workplace Injury

According to recent statistics from Safe Work Australia, the total economic cost of work-related injuries and illnesses is estimated to be over $60 billion dollars across Australia. Musculoskeletal disorders that were caused by manual handling account for approximately 60% of claims in Victoria. As such, dismantling businesses should focus on ergonomics and hazardous manual handling in the workplace.

WorkSafe Victoria are currently planning a compliance based program that will focus on manual handling. The program will have WorkSafe Victoria Inspectors conducting visits on the transport, retail, dismantling, automotive and health care sectors. The visits will be instigated when a musculoskeletal disorder workers compensation claim is raised. WorkSafe will be focusing on:

  • Has the employer attempted to identify hazards in the workplace?
  • Did the employer conduct incident investigation to identify the cause of the incident?
  • Where there are current risk controls, did the employer review the current manual handling risk controls?
  • What corrective actions have been put in place to prevent the incident from occurring?

It is recommended that ADRD members conduct the following:

  • Conduct proper and documented incident reporting and investigation of workplace incidents
  • Consult employees on manual handling tasks
  • Identify hazardous manual handling tasks and control the risk
  • Review current manual handling controls

There isn’t a one size fits all principle that can be applied to maintain our body’s needs within the workplace, especially in a physical workshop.

The  VACC OHSE Unit can provide onsite ergonomic assessments for office and workshop activities, and develop tailored solutions to minimise musculoskeletal injuries and flare ups from manual handling tasks.

We provide the following:

  • Ergonomic assessments for office, warehouse and workshop tasks and roles
  • Manual handling assessments
  • Ergonomic and manual handling recommendations, advice and resources
  • Discomfort surveys
  • Workstation design review

ADRD members should contact the VACC OHSE Advisor Edward Chan, VACC OHSE Unit 03 9829 1117, for more information and for tailored quotes.