Manual Handling: Factory Injuries Carry Heavy Financial Burden

Almost 20 thousand  Queensland factory workers  suffered injuries in the workplace in the past fiscal year which resulted in approximately  $204 million in disbursements from WorkCover.

While less than 12,000 claims were made by construction workers,  their payout were in excess of $201 million and were responsiblefor 16 per cent of all claims.

Workers in the metals, plastics and meat processing areas are considered to be the highest risk in the manufacturing sector according to the insurer’s yearly repor. t

Queensland secretary of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, Rohan Webb, claimed to have expected the injury report for  2011/12 financial year to be high, “but not that high”.

He attributed the problems to companies who appoint on-site safety managers who lack the proper training for the role.  He also targeted companies who  fail to properly guard machinery.

“When a safety representative is elected by the workforce we seem to get better results and better safety, Mr Webb said.

He said occupational health and safety standards had weakened with a relative explosion in small- to medium-sized manufacturing operations across the state.

“Unfortunately employers say safety is paramount, but they’re quite quick to cut a corner if it means upping production,” Mr Webb said.

Overall, 3741 Queensland workers injured on the job sued their employer for negligence last financial year, resulting $514 million in payouts.

The report reveals the 150,000 employers insured through WorkCover face premium hikes, with the average rate to increase from $1.30 to $1.45 per $100 in wages.

WorkCover manages 90 per cent of Queensland workers’ compensation claims.

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Fallen Knives Leaves Manual Labourer Without a Career

Manual Labour SafetyA Queensland meatworker had his career cut short when three extremely sharp knives struck his neck,collarbone, and hand in an accident at JBS meatworks.

Steven Larson is seeking over $750,000 in damages after the 2009 freak accident left him without a career.Larson’s claim against JBS Pty Ltd  alleges that the former meat-worker has sustained wounds in his neck and hand which has left him with residual pain and the inability to continue as a manual labourer.

Court documents state that Larson was preparing for his shift by sharpening his knives in the “kill floor” at 5:45 am on July 14.A colleague was walking up the stairs directly above Larson’s work area, when she dropped her knife kit and three knives fell and stabbed him.

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Manual Handling: Queensland Council Pays $400,000 To Injured Worker

Amanual handling safety northern Queensland council was told to pay a worker over $400,000 in compensation for injuries he received to his back while swinging a sledgehammer while working.

The Supreme Court in Cairns directed Cook Shire Council to pay Darryl Hosmer following the injury he received to his spine.

Justice Jim Henry published a 35-page decision which cited that despite early denials by Cook County , the council has admitted responsibility for the injury Hosmer received to his lumbar spine while conducting a task.

According to Justice Henry, Hosmer alleges that the spinal injury was a direct result of the council’s breach in its “ obligations and duties” in ensuring workers safety.

However, Justice Henry said that despite the council admitting liability they have also denied that the incident caused the stated injuries.The court was informed that Hosmer was inspected and assessed by two notable orthopaedic surgeons in October and November 2008. The injury is said to have been caused by the repetitive action of swinging the sledge hammer and then bending over to  strike ‘dumpy pegs’ into the ground.

Hosmer was awarded damages of $413,600.43. $250, 000 of the total compensation accounts for a future economic loss. $30,000 is awarded for a loss off superannuation and the remaining $45,000 was awarded for general damages.

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Manual Handling: Learn to Pull Your Weight– Safely

Manual Handling TrainingManual Handling does not simply refer to lifting heavy items. In fact, Manual Handling can include any activity that requires a person to use force to lift,push,pull carry, or physically transport something.  This can include normal office duties such as; carrying boxes full of paper, files, or office equipment.




Risks of injury often occur most often when undertaking tasks that involve:

  • Application of strong force
  • Repetitive actions
  • Frequently bending and twisting
  • Working under uncomfortable conditions
  • Long periods of work with little sleep
  • Working in adverse environmental conditions
  • Handling people or animals,
  • Heavy lifting
  • Handling loads that are difficult to grasp


There is no mandated weight limit as per Health and Safety regulations, since everyone has different physical abilities. Also, one must note that the weight of an object is not the only important factor when manual handling and it is not the only thing brands a task a hazardous one.

What types of Professions involve manual labor?

The question isn’t what type of professions DO include manual labor, but rather what professions  DON’T — since most, if not all jobs involve some sort of labor on a regular basis. Some examples of industries that involve manual handling on an almost a daily basis includes health care, office, warehousing, and of course; construction.

Workers in healthcare or geriatric care require the use of manual handling quite often. Training in manual handling for people working in this industry can include advice on safe lifting policies and ways to avoid injury. Courses in manual handling can also act as a refresher to show employers that skills have been updated. Other industries can receive training that will provide the following:

  • Help workers understand what Manual Handling is.
  • Understand the requirements of the Manual Handling Regulations and Compliance Code.
  • Understand the effects of Manual Handling injuries and the value of, and the need for, correct Manual Handling practices.
  • Understand the basic anatomy and function of the spine.
  • Understand how to conduct a Manual Handling Risk Assessment.

It is important in the workplace to understand what type of manual tasks  you are involved with that are potentially hazardous. By understanding and developing methods, one can effectively limit the amount of risks that they are exposed to at work. Safe work procedures can be implemented to teach employees how to safety perform their manual labor tasks.  Training can provide employees with the knowledge to reduce risk, and increase productivity in manual labor tasks.

Manual Handling: Different Courses For Different Jobs

What do health care professionals, dockworkers, construction workers and office workers all have in common? Most are required to do at least some heavy and awkward lifting. Therefore, it is important to know how to lift and move heavy or awkward objects without causing injury to oneself.

Of course, lifting a patient and moving them from a bed to a chair isn’t the same as lifting and carrying a half dozen 8 by ten boards and that is why there are different manual handling courses for different types of jobs. While the basics of manual handling remain virtually the same, you don’t lift things all in the same manner and the different types of risks can’t be minimized in the same way.

While a winch may make lifting that heavy load easier in a warehouse or on a construction site, it isn’t going to do the job in an office nor a home for the elderly. So courses need to be designed to address the special issues and problems in the different fields.

Manual Handling Tips For Employees

While many people think that manual handling courses are designed to help ensure that employers are in compliance with their need to evaluate the risk of manual handling to their employees and minimize the risk as much as possible, these courses are also geared towards giving employees tips in lifting and other techniques that will help them to minimize their own risk as well.

Safety in the workplace is a joint effort and manual handling classes are geared just towards helping the employer and the employee jointly understand how to recognize, report, evaluate and minimize the risk creating a safer work environment for all concerned.

That is why manual handling classes go beyond the mere basics and actually design classes to help employers and employees in individual fields deal with those issues that are relevant to them. After all dealing with patients is far different than dealing with a box of printer paper and the ways of lifting them are different as well.

In fact, in the health care profession, the risk of injury is not just to the employee but the patient as well and this issue is unique to that field and an important issue to be addressed. However, learning the proper way to move a patient isn’t going to be of much interest or use to that warehouse worker who spends his day loading and unloading crates nor to that construction worker who needs to get those roofing tiles raised to a roof.

By designing specific manual handling courses for specific trades it is possible to cover more issues that are pertinent to the individual business rather than simply give generalized information that may be of little benefit to anyone. By individualizing each manual handling course, you are increasing safety for each profession.

So if you need to take a manual handling course look for one that is specifically designed for your field. Not only will you get the most for your money that way but you will also have more information in which to help create a better and safer work environment.



OHS Courses that Benefit Specific Industries

ohs courses for studsentsThe National OHS Strategy of 2002 – 2012 outlines specific goals to achieve by 2012. In research, they have found that there are certain industries that file more Worker Compensation claims than others. These include building and construction, transport and storage, manufacturing, agriculture, forestry and fisheries and health and community services. Through awareness and OHS courses, the percentage of accidents and illnesses has steadily decreased since 2002.

OHS Courses Help with Company Safety

Understanding the types of safety that are most important in your industry can help you determine what form of OHS Courses will be most beneficial to your employees. For example, manual handling tasks account for more than 35% of the reported injuries in Australian workplaces. This course could apply to each of the industries listed above and many others, placing employees at risk. The Manual Handling Training Shift Materials Safely Using Manual Handling Methods – TLID107C is an excellent course that addresses skills in shifting loads, compliance according the legislative rules and certain control measures that should be put into place.

OHS Courses on Hazardous Substances

OHS Courses on Hazardous Substances is another training class that can help reduce injury from chemical burns, identifying substances and proper packaging. Those in the transport, warehousing, distribution and storage industries can gain knowledge into why handling of dangerous goods is critical to health. Material safety data sheets, labeling, placards and classes of substances will also be learned. Emergency equipment and processes should an accident occur if paramount in this type of exposure and a Hazardous Substances Course covers this as well.

OHS Courses Online

There are many companies that now offer OHS Courses online, through the mail or making visits to industries for hands on learning and demonstrations. Accredited certification can be obtained at the end of each course and quality employees to teach new hires. More basic programs are also available for learning the most recent changes of the OHS rules and regulations or basic first aid for certain types of injuries. These can be added as your employees become trained on OHS Courses as ongoing classes.

Select Your OHS Course Provider Carefully

Make sure that the company that you choose to provide materials for OHS Courses have been degreed and licensed in your particular trade. For instance, the team of PeopleSafe Australia has all worked previously for the Master Builders Association, making them a perfect match for the construction industry. Ongoing workshops are a way to keep your employees sharp and always aware of accidents if certain procedures are not performed.

Start by finding the course that yo u are looking for online.  Next, select a respected training company that has the background and credentials to get you started. Building a safer workplace is the ultimate goal and with everyone joining in, the National OHS Strategy will be a success by 2012.

Lafarge Plasterboard introduces manual handling guidance

Lafarge Plasterboard has announced that from the end of July 2010 all of its GTEC plasterboard products complying with BS EN 520 will include manual handling guidance. (more…)

Manual handling training

Manual handling has often been associated with a high risk of injury; in fact, a recent assessment of causes of such risks ranks lack of proper training in the top five. (more…)

Manual handling – why do we need to take care?

Your health and safety at work is very important. Not just because of any legal requirements either. People, who are happy at work, performing tasks they can properly manage, make for a great workplace. (more…)

What is Manual Handling?

Manual handling is a risky activity. We all have to perform manual handling tasks at work. We should always be looking at ways to make our workplace safer through better practice.

Injuries resulting from manual handling can be very painful and difficult to fix. Therefor it is very important to acquire the basic knowledge and skills necessary to work safely and efficiently when manual handling. (more…)

Why is manual handling awareness in healthcare important?

Manual handling remains the single largest cause of injuries to health care workers. Importantly, manual handling injuries are a significant cause of the loss of nurses from health and community services. Other occupational groups at risk include facility cleaners and health care assistants.

What is different to other Manual Handling?

You are most likely working in healthcare because you want to help people. Often the people you help have poor mobility. They depend on you to get around or in some cases just the simple task of turning in bed.

The human body is a very awkward heavy object.  If you were asked to work in another job where you were required to move objects weighing an average 80kg or more, you would probably be going for the forklift. Yet some healthcare workers continue to handle patients, day in day out, as if there were no consequences. Everybody knows of a colleague who has chronic back or neck pain due to working in the healthcare industry.

How bad is the problem?

The following major contributors to nurse injuries have been recorded:

  • manual handling of people
  • muscular stress with no objects being handled
  • slips, trips and falls
  • manual handling of trolleys
  • the use and adjustment of beds
  • handling of linen and lead aprons.

Sprains and strains were the main types of manual handling injury. Of injuries to registered nurses, 40 per cent involved the back, 12 per cent the upper limbs, and 9 per cent the lower limbs. Of injuries to enrolled nurses, 30 per cent were to the back and 17 per cent to the upper limbs. Beds were involved in nearly all patient-handling activities where injuries occurred, e.g. repositioning and transferring patients.

Manual handling is the most common cause of injuries for employees working in aged care facilities, accounting for 58 per cent of all injuries.  Nurses, carers, cleaners, laundry, maintenance, administration and kitchen staff have all been injured during manual handling.

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David Jones CEO Steps Down After Inappropriate Behavior

David Jones, chief executive Mark McInnes has had to resign after allegations of inappropriate behavior towards a female staff member. (more…)

Forklift Accident Smashes $100,000 worth of Alcohol

A video clip of a Russian forklift driver who smashes over a $100,000 worth of alcohol , leaving more than just a financial headache.


Boss Allows Unlicensed Staff to use a Forklift, Sued for $700,000

Joel Coughlan, a professional table tennis player who was working in North Rockhampton lost 3/12 toes when he was injured when a employee lowered a metal component (called a cyclone) that was suspended by a sling to a forklift. (more…)

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