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From stacking shelves to entering information into a computer, almost every job involves manual tasks.


If workers perform these tasks improperly, they increase the risk of injury. Even something as simple as picking up a small box could result in a back sprain.


To help reduce the risk of these injuries, Safe Work Australia advises PCBUs to provide employers with an adequate manual handling course in Sydney.


What Is Manual Handling Training?


Manual handling training includes education for identifying hazardous manual tasks, completing risk assessments, finding alternative ways to complete the task, and using proper techniques for manual tasks.


Identifying potentially hazardous manual tasks remains one of the primary goals of manual handling training. Safework NSW defines a hazardous manual task as a task where you need to lift, push, lower, pull, carry, hold, or restrain an object. The tasks may also include:


  • Sustained force
  • Repetitive movement
  • Sudden force
  • Sustained or awkward posture
  • Exposure to vibrations


These issues can place stress on the body, leading to an increased risk of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). MSDs are the leading work-related condition in Australia.


MSDs include any injury to the musculoskeletal system. Examples include sprains and strains. Workers may also suffer from nerve injuries, joint or bone degeneration, soft tissue injuries, chronic pain, or acute pain.


These injuries can occur suddenly during strenuous activity or slowly from gradual wear and tear. By taking reasonable steps to avoid repetitive or unsafe manual tasks, organisations may reduce the occurrence of these injuries.


What Do Manual Handling Training Courses in Sydney involve?


Manual handling training courses give attendees the knowledge needed to reduce workplace accidents related to lifting, pulling, or carrying objects. Incorrect manual handling techniques lead to numerous workplace injuries each year. Training centres provide courses to cover safe manual handling in different industries, including:


  • Healthcare
  • Aged Care
  • Construction
  • Office work
  • Warehouse


No matter the industry, the training course covers many of the same topics. The individual details are tailored to the different work conditions, but the courses still include a detailed look at the following areas:


  • What to do with heavy objects that require lifting
  • Understanding the most common causes of injuries
  • How to plan and perform manual handling tasks
  • How to maintain an injury-free workplace
  • Proper techniques for lifting, pulling, or carrying
  • How to safely identify and plan for potential risks


Individuals complete the training online through a nationally recognised training centre. The in-depth knowledge fulfils the responsibilities outlined in the Work Health and Safety (WHS) Act. It follows the model code of practice for hazardous manual tasks.


The manual handling code of practice was developed to explain the process for identifying hazardous tasks. It also outlines the steps for assessing the risks of MSDs, along with steps for eliminating those risks.


The Work Health and Safety Act recommends this training for manufacturers, designers, importers, or suppliers of equipment or tools where manual tasks are carried out.


As part of the risk assessment for manual handling tasks, workers and PCBUs should focus on the following four key factors of risk management:


  • The task
  • The individual
  • The load
  • The environment


Workers first need to assess the activity involved in the task, such as twisting or bending. The next step assesses the worker. This may include details related to the worker’s health, strength, or height.


The third stage requires individuals to assess the load. When loads are heavy, difficult to hold, too hot, too cold, or slippery, workers should follow additional precautions.


The final stage includes a look at the environment. The area may be slippery, uneven, or cramped. These issues can increase the risk of an accident or injury.


Workplace injuries can occur in any industry. In fact, 8,500 serious claims for body stress were filed by employees in the health care and social assistance industry. With the completion of the manual handling training course, employees and employers will have the skill sets needed to identify and avoid these issues.


How Much Is Manual Handling Training in Sydney?


Registered Training organisations offer several different training courses but the reality is most organisations don’t required nationally recognised courses. You can complete awareness training online, quickly and simply, for $66 per person including a Certificate of Competency. AlertForce offers customised on-site training as well if that is what is preferred. PCBUs can enquire to learn more about custom manual handling training for the workplace.


How Long Is NSW Manual Handling Training?


Training on manual handling in Sydney does not take long. Onsite courses typically last 2-3 hours. The online course runs for about 60 minutes. After completing the course online, workers complete quizzes to demonstrate their understanding.


The quizzes are part of an assessment and include practical activities that simulate a real workplace setting. While the training typically lasts for about an hour, the total duration, including the quizzes, often lasts two to three hours.


How Long Does a Manual Handling Certificate Last in Sydney?


Students receive the certificate after completing the course, which they can download and print through the training organisation’s learning management system. The certificate remains valid for two years. After the certificate expires, workers need to retake the training course.

If you have not yet completed the manual handling course or need to renew your certificate, enrol today.

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