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Manual handling tasks lead to many accidents and injuries to Australian workers each year. Lifting or pulling something incorrectly or standing with the wrong posture may also lead to back pain, slipped discs, and other musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). With proper training, workers learn how to safely perform these tasks.


The goal of the training is to help reduce the risk of workplace accidents related to poor handling. According to Safe Work Australia, musculoskeletal disorders are the most common work-related injuries. Here is a closer look at the requirements and learning outcomes for the courses.


What Does Manual Handling Training Involve?


The training course covers the steps needed to assess and perform manual tasks. Work Health and Safety (WHS) regulations define a manual task as any task requiring a person to lower, lift, pull, push, carry, or move any object using any of the following:


  • Repetitive movement
  • Sustained or awkward position
  • Sudden force
  • Exposure to vibrations
  • Repetitive or sustained force


Training organisations create courses for specific industries. During the training, you receive instructions for assessing tasks involving awkward or heavy loads related to your industry or work setting. Depending on the industry, you may learn how to properly stack shelves, work on a conveyor line, or enter data into a computer.


No matter the industry, you also learn more about basic anatomy and the impact of improper handling on the body. Face to face training involves both practical training and an assessment, with conditions designed to simulate real situations. Online training uses a different format but still covers the same topics.


How Long Is the Manual Handling Course in Canberra?


The online courses typically only take about 45 minutes to complete for the practical training portion of the program. The program also includes quizzes, requiring participants to demonstrate their competency.


The course for healthcare workers tends to take slightly longer compared to the courses for the construction industry, office workers, and warehouse workers. It takes about an hour to complete instead of 45 minutes.


How Much Is the Manual Handling Course in Canberra, ACT?


The cost of manual handling courses varies. For example, face to face training typically costs more and takes longer to complete. AlertForce offers an online training course for $60 plus GST.


What Are the Training Outcomes?


The learning outcomes depend on the industry. The AlertForce manual handling course in ACT provides specialised instruction for manual handling tasks in the following industries and work environments:


  • Healthcare
  • Aged care
  • Construction
  • Offices
  • Warehouses


After completing nationally recognised training, you should have the skills and knowledge required to safely handle tasks that require manual labour. The course is designed to teach the proper steps for safe manual handling, which typically includes the following recommendations:


  • Assess the task
  • Identify psychosocial risks
  • Design problems out
  • Review the process


Before lifting, pulling, or otherwise performing a manual task, you need to complete a risk assessment of the situation. The only time you may not need to complete an assessment is for tasks you have already completed. If you are aware of the risks and how to control them, you may skip the assessment.


For example, if you perform the same task on a specific piece of equipment each day, you may not need to complete these steps every time you use the equipment.


An assessment requires a closer look at the movements or postures used to perform the task. When moving an object, you should also assess the size of the load and the best way to move it. This may include using additional equipment, such as a pulley or cart.


When assessing the task, try to identify potential psychosocial risks, such as stressful work conditions and the state of mind of the person performing the manual handling. Stress, depression, and other mental health issues increase the risk of accidents when handling certain tasks.


The best way to reduce the risk of injury is to design the problem out. Try to find ways to avoid the need to use your body to complete the task. You should also review the process to determine if any changes need to be made.


Along with these steps, you learn how to maintain good posture, protect against the repetitive movement, and safely perform manual tasks relevant to your industry.


Does Manual Handling Certificate Have an Expiration Date?


Upon successful completion of the course, you receive a certificate of completion. It does not expire. As with many certificates without expiration dates, taking the course every two years helps refresh your memory.


Learning how to safely perform manual tasks reduces the impact on your joints, bones, and muscles. Gradual wear and tear caused by repetitive or continuous tasks can cause sprains, strains, and back injuries. Nerve injuries, hernias, and joint or bone injuries also occur due to improper handling.


Contact AlertForce to explore manual handling training solutions in the Canberra area.

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