Presentation on theme: "Overview of the workshop"— Presentation transcript:
1 Prevention of musculoskeletal disorders from performing manual tasks in mining workplaces
2 Overview of the workshop Aim and learning outcomes of the workshopDefinitionsInjuries from performing manual tasks – mechanism and statisticsLegislative responsibilitiesAnatomy and biomechanicsThe risk management process applied to manual tasksWho’s responsibleCase studiesConclusion and questions
3 Aim of the workshopTo give participants the knowledge and skills to identify hazardous manual tasks and to assess and control risks arising from those tasks.This workshop will assist workplaces to fulfil their legislative responsibility to protect employees from hazardous manual tasks.
4 Learning outcomesProvide the definition of a manual task, a hazardous manual task and a musculoskeletal disorderExplain the legislative requirement to manage the risk resulting from hazardous manual tasksExplain how performing manual tasks can lead to injuryHave an understanding of anatomy and biomechanical principlesParticipate effectively in the risk management process applied to manual tasks including:Recognising hazardous manual tasksAssessing the risk of injury, the source of the risk and the severity of the riskDeveloping risk controls to effectively reduce the risk by altering the source of the risk identified in the risk assessment process.
5 DefinitionsManual task is a label given to any activity that requires aperson to use their physical body (musculoskeletal system)to perform work.This includes work that involves the use of force for:Lifting/lowering; pushing/pulling; carrying; moving; holding; or restraining anythingand work that involves:Repetitive actions; sustained postures; and concurrent exposure to vibration
6 Examples of manual tasks All of the photographs show different examples of tasks that fit the definition of a manual task.The first photograph shows workers manually pushing/pulling a rail trolley (pushing/pulling)The second photograph shows a worker operating a drill-rig (sustained posture, repetitive actions and concurrent exposure to vibration)The third photograph shows the worker drilling with an airleg (holding, pushing and concurrent exposure to vibration).
7 Definitions continued Hazardous manual tasks refer to any manual tasks that involvecertain characteristics that increase the risk of injury, including:Repetitive or sustained application of forceRepetitive or sustained awkward posturesRepetitive or sustained movementsApplication of high forceExposure to sustained vibrationInvolve handling of person or animalInvolve handling of unstable or unbalanced loads that are difficult to grasp or holdRepetitive application of force means using force repeatedly over a period of time to move or support an object. Sustained means maintaining the same position or making the same movement continuously for a period of time.Repetitive or sustained awkward postures - An awkward posture is one in which any part of the body is in an uncomfortable or bent and twisted position.Repetitive or sustained movements - Repetitive or sustained movement means using the same parts of the body to repeat similar movements over a period of time or to maintain movement.Application of high force - Application of high force occurs in any task that people in the working population would find difficult because of the effort it requires.Exposure to sustained vibration - Tasks where vibration is transferred from tools or machinery to parts of the operators’ body can be hazardous, particularly when force is being applied.Involve handling of person or animal - Handling of live people or animals is hazardous not only because they can be heavy but because they may move unexpectedly.Involve handling of unstable or unbalanced loads that are difficult to grasp or hold - Loads that are unstable, unbalanced, difficult to grasp or hold (including those that have no handles or specific handholds, are large, slippery, floppy, sharp, hot, cold, toxic or unpleasant) can apply sudden, unexpected forces on handlers.
8 Definitions continued Hazardous manual tasks can lead to a variety of injuries andconditions collectively referred to as musculoskeletaldisorders (MSD) including:Sprains and strains of muscles, ligaments and tendonsBack injuries, including damage to the muscles, tendons, ligaments, spinal discs, nerves, joints and bonesJoint injuries or degeneration, including injuries to the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, ankle, hands and feetBone injuriesNerve injuriesMuscular and vascular disorders as a result of hand-arm vibrationSoft tissue hernias
9 Injuries from performing manual tasks Injuries occur when forces on structures of themusculoskeletal system (e.g. muscle, ligaments, tendon,bone) are greater than the structures can withstandAcute injuries – sudden damage to musculoskeletal system, occurs as consequence of single exposure to high forceCumulative injuries – cumulative wear and tear on musculoskeletal system, caused by repeated or prolonged exposure to lower levels of forceInjuries occur when the forces on the structures of the musculoskeletal system exceed what they can withstand.Acute injuries, causing sudden damage to the musculoskeletal system, occur as a consequence of a single exposure to high force. For example, lifting an item that is heavier than expected and requires an unexpected exertion of force can result in an acute musculoskeletal disorder.Commonly, however, such injuries are a result of cumulative ‘wear and tear’ on the musculoskeletal system, caused by repeated or prolonged exposure to lower levels of force. Even low levels of force can cause small amounts of damage to structures. This damage is normally repaired before injury occurs however if the rate of damage is greater than the rate of repair then injury occurs.
10 Extent and cost of injuries in WA mining Injuries from performing manual tasks consistently account for about 1/3 of all new LTIs and DIs and over 50% of all injury recurrencesAbout 2/3 of these LTIs and DIs and 90% of these recurrences are serious (14 or more days/shifts lost)These injuries account for nearly 40% of all LTI compensation costs and approximately 45% of the total days lost from workplace injuries.LTI Lost time injury, requiring absence from work for a full shiftDI Disabling injury, unable to work usual job any time of shift/alternate dutiesScope and cost of injuries from performing manual tasks in WA mining workplaces.In the three year period from to to injuries from performing manual tasks, collectively called musculoskeletal disorders, accounted for over one third of the total number of injuries to WA’s mining workers. A significant proportion of these injuries, 2/3 of new injuries and 90% of recurrences, are serious that is resulted in 14 or more days/shifts lostThese injuries account for approximately 40% of the total compensation costs for the mining industry and approximately 45% of total days lost from workplace injuries.Sources: AXTAT data and WorkerCover dataSource: Workers' Compensation Statistical Report 1998/ /02
11 Overview of legislation Resources Safety administers the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994 (MSI Act) and the Mines Safety and Inspection Regulations 1995 (MSI Regulations)The MSI Act sets out broad duties with respect to OSH, supported by MSI RegulationsCodes of practice and guidelines provide practical guidanceResources Safety Division of the Department of Mines and Petroleum administers the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994 (MSI Act) and the Mines Safety and Inspection Regulations 1995 (MSI Regulations). The MSI Act sets out broad duties with respect to occupational safety and health, and is supported by the MSI Regulations, codes of practice and guidelines. The provisions of Codes of Practice and guidance material are not mandatory so a duty holder may choose to comply some other way, provided the alternative method used also fulfils the legislative requirements.The Australian Safety and Compensation Council’s 2007National Code of Practice for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders from Performing Manual Tasks at Work and guidance material on manual task risk and the management of the risk specific to the mining industry developed by Resources Safety provide practical guidance that will help mining workplaces comply with the general duty of care requirements.
12 Duties – Employers*Employers have a general duty to provide and maintain a working environment to protect the health and safety of their workforce including a requirement to:Provide and maintain workplaces, plant and systems of workProvide information, instructions, training and supervisionConsult and cooperate with safety and health representatives and employeesso that employees are not exposed to hazards.*Employer is anyone who employs a person in a mining operation.
13 Duties – Employees*Employees are obliged to take reasonable care to ensure their own and others’ safety and health including a requirement to:Cooperate with employersFollow instructionsReport hazards*Employees include contract and labour hire personnel
14 Legislative requirement If a hazardous manual task is identified, all duty holders must fulfil their obligations to reduce the risk of injury to workers completing the taskRisk management process is recommended to fulfil obligationshazard identificationrisk assessmentrisk controlcontrol evaluationLike any other hazard, the risks arising from hazardous manual tasks must be managed so, as far as is practical so workers are not exposed to the hazard. Everyone on a mining worksite has responsibilities to reduce the risk of injury to workers completing manual tasks.A risk management approach is recommended to deal with all hazards, including hazardous manual tasks. The risk management process of hazard identification, risk assessment, risk control and control evaluation provides a framework within which all manual task risk factors that cause or contribute to the development of musculoskeletal disorders can be considered; assisting in managing the cumulative nature of these injuries.
15 Overview of anatomy and biomechanics Anatomy of the spineBody positions and posturesTypes of muscle workPrinciples of biomechanicsKnowledge on anatomy and biomechanical principles provides the basis for a better understanding of what happens to the body when performing a manual task.Topics covered are:anatomy of the spine;body positions & postures;types of muscle worksome basic biomechanical principles
16 Anatomy of the spine Anatomy of the spine The spine is made up of 33 small bones or vertebrae, divided into 3 areas.Top 7 - cervical vertebrae;Next 12 - thoracic vertebrae;Next 5 - lumbar vertebrae.The remaining vertebrae are fused to form the sacrum, with the coccyx at the end.Looking from the front or the back, the vertebrae are stacked one on top of the other in a straight line.However, from the side, they form 3 spinal curves; the curve bends forwards in the neck, backwards in the thoracic area, and then forwards again in the lumbar area. Good posture involves maintaining these curves.
18 Trunk (back) positions Side flexion and rotation Trunk (spine) positionsSide flexion – bending sidewaysRotation – twisting the spine
19 Wrist positions Extension, neutral and flexion Neutral – hand and forearm alignedExtension – hand upwardsFlexion – hand downwards
20 Hand and forearm positions Pronation and supination Hand & forearm positionsPronation – palm downSupination – palm up
21 Neutral posturesHead and neck – level or bent slightly forward, forward facing, balanced and in-line with the trunkHands wrists and forearms – all straight and in-lineElbows – close to the body and bent 90o to 120oShoulders – relaxed and upper arms hang normally at the side of the bodyMuscles are generally weaker when they are shortened or lengthened therefore when joints are at the extremes of their normal range of movement the muscles are weaker. As a result the optimal design of work aims to provide tasks that can be performed while maintaining neutral postures.The descriptions are of neutral postures for different body parts.
22 Neutral postures continued Thighs and hips – parallel to the floor when sitting; perpendicular to the floor when standingKnees – same height as hips with feet slightly apart when sitting; aligned with hips and ankles when standingBack – vertical or leaning slightly back with lumbar support when sitting; vertical with an S-shaped curve when standingSource: NIOSH IC 9509: Ergonomics Processes Implementation Guide and Tools for the Mining Industry
23 Types of muscle work Dynamic Muscle contraction and movement Static Muscle contraction and no movementDynamic work - muscle contraction and movement of a body part. E.g. The action of lifting - the shoulder muscles contract and raise the arms.Dynamic action - the blood pumped to the muscle flows through the muscle, flushing out the lactic acid and carbon dioxide (waste products of muscle work). Thus the chemical balance of the muscle is maintained, and it can work for lengthy periods without discomfort.Static work - muscle contraction, but no movement of a body part occurs. E.g. bending over to work - the flexed posture of the spine is held there by the back muscles working statically.Static action- the sustained muscle contraction acts like a tourniquet on the blood vessels. This results in a loss of blood flow to the working muscle and a build- up of the waste products in the muscle itself. The chemical imbalance is detected by the brain as discomfort, fatigue or heaviness. This occurs even after very short periods of static muscle work.Many manual task risk factors are listed because they are examples of static muscle work. An example is static muscle work for the shoulders and arms in carrying loads over long distances.Many tasks involve both static and dynamic muscle work. In the example of the mechanic working in a car engine, there is static work for the back muscles and dynamic work for the wrist and forearm muscles as he/she uses tools.
24 Principles of biomechanics For our bodies to move, the muscles have to pull on the bones of our arms, legs and back. The bones are therefore like levers.A weight at a short distance from the fulcrum requires less effort to move than the same weight at a longer distance from the fulcrum.When lifting a load, the closer it is to the person’s body, the less stress there is on the body, and therefore the lower the risk of injury.If the load is further away, there is greater strain on the person handling the load.
25 Using the spine as a crane The spine can be a very long lever arm, with a load being handled at the end. The muscles of the back have to support not only the weight of the load being handled, but also the weight of the trunk as it is bent over. The force exerted by the spinal muscles can be up to ten times greater than the weight of the load handled.Have a 10 minute BREAK after this slide.
26 Risk management process The risk management process provides a framework within which all manual task risk factors that cause or contribute to the development of musculoskeletal disorders can be considered, therefore managing both the acute and cumulative nature of these injuries.Step 1: Hazard identification - identify all hazardous manual tasksStep 2: Risk assessment - assess risks of musculoskeletal disorders that arise from the hazardous manual tasks, identify the sources (underlying cause) of the risk and evaluate the severity of the risk.Step 3: Risk control - decide on and use appropriate control measures to alter sources of risk identified in the risk assessment to eliminate or minimise risk of musculoskeletal disordersStep 4: Monitor and review - follow up to find out whether changes have eliminated or reduced assessed risks.The four step risk management process is one of continuous improvement as shown in the diagram above.Consultation between employers and workers is essential at each stage for the process to be successful. Current best practice is a participative ergonomics approach. The participative ergonomics approach involves workers, assisted by an ergonomist or OSH personnel with skills in ergonomics, undertaking the risk management process.Source: National Code of Practice for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders from Performing Manual Tasks at Work
27 Overview of hazard identification Hazard identification is a way of analysing tasks to find out which tasks cause or contribute to musculoskeletal disorders. That is, a process to identify hazardous manual tasks.Check sources of information such as injury and hazard reportsConsult with workers, supervisors and safety and health representativesLook at task and identify any of the characteristics that make it hazardousAnalysis of injury, incident and hazard reports - this will show where injuries/discomfort/difficulties are occurring, and if there is a pattern in their occurrence.2. Consultation with employees - talk to the supervisors and employees doing the job. They may be able to tell you specific aspects which cause them problems. Talk to the safety and health representatives or committees who may have information on potentially hazardous manual tasks.3. Look at the manual tasks – observe the task(s) actually being performed.
28 Reporting hazardous manual tasks All personnel at mining workplaces have a statutory obligation to report hazardsBeing proactive by early reporting of concerns such as discomfort, pain, when completing a manual task may prevent serious injuryProactive means we avoid waiting for the injuries to occur and we keep an eye on risk factors connected to specific work tasks that can lead to signs, symptoms, and eventually injury. Workers doing the task should be consulted and encouraged to report potentially hazardous manual tasks.Source: NIOSH IC 9497: Ergonomics and Risk Factor Awareness Training for Miners
29 Example of hazard identification form This is an example of a manual task hazard identification form. The form/s used at the participants’ workplace should be used in the presentation.Source: Burgess-Limerick, R (2009) Procedure for Managing Injury Risks Associated with Manual Tasks
30 Example of discomfort survey form This is an example of a discomfort survey form. The form/s used at the participants’ workplace should be used in the presentation.Source: National Code of Practice for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders from Performing Manual Tasks at Work
31 Potentially hazardous manual tasks Research suggests a manual task should be consideredpotentially hazardous if any of the following apply:An injury (musculoskeletal disorder) has been recorded that was associated with performance of the taskAny employee is physically incapable of performing the task, or the task can only be done for a short timeAny employee reports discomfort associated with the manual taskEmployees have improvised controls for the taskBurgess-Limerick (2008) Procedure for Managing Injury Risks Associated with Manual TasksNIOSH Information Circular 9509, Ergonomics Processes: Implementation Guide and Tools for the Mining Industry and Burgess-Limerick (2008) Procedure for Managing Injury Risks Associated with Manual Tasks have outlined these parameters describing potentially hazardous manual task based on the body of research currently available. These are guidelines only and are not prescribed limits.
32 Potentially hazardous manual tasks continued Employees doing this task have a higher turnover, or rate of sick leave, than elsewhere in the organisationThe mass of any object, person, or animal being handled exceeds 16 kgIf the force exerted on any object, person or animal exceeds 200 NIf the postures adopted to perform the task involve substantial deviations from neutralBurgess-Limerick (2008) Procedure for Managing Injury Risks Associated with Manual Tasks
33 Potentially hazardous manual tasks continued If the task involves static postures held for longer than 30 secs and the task is performed for more that 30 mins without a break, or for more than 2 hrs per shiftIf the task involves repetitive movements of any body part and is performed for more than 30 mins without a break, or for more than 2 hrs per shiftIf the task is performed for longer than 60 mins at a time without a breakIf the task is performed for longer than 4 hrs per shiftIf exposure to whole body vibration (vehicles) or peripheral vibration (power tools) exceeds 2 hrs per shiftBurgess-Limerick (2008) Procedure for Managing Injury Risks Associated with Manual Tasks
34 Overview of risk assessment Risk assessment is about understanding theproblem. The risk assessment determines:whether the task poses or increases risk of injury (musculoskeletal disorder)source/s (underlying/root cause/s) of the riskthe severity (level) of riskRisk assessment is about understanding the problem. All the risk factors that are known to lead or contribute to injuries are investigated and, where applicable, measured. The source, that is the underlying cause of the risk factor being present is identified in the risk assessment. It is important the severity (level) of risk is considered so the hazardous manual tasks can be prioritised for control within existing OSH systems.
35 Risk factorsDirect risk factors: Risk factors that are known to lead to musculoskeletal disorders are:Postures and movements of workerForces (exertion) involved in taskDuration and frequency of taskIndirect risk factors: Risk factors that are known to contribute to the risk of musculoskeletal disorders are:Work environmentSystems of work, work organisation and work practicesExposure to vibrationThe risk of developing a musculoskeletal disorder significantly increases where there is more than one risk factor present in the taskLook at all the risk factors.It is important to consider all risk factors – don’t jump to early conclusions.
36 Risk factors: postures and movements If a task involves postures and movements that are:repetitive (more than twice a minute) orsustained (more than 30 seconds at a time) and/orawkward (away from the neutral position)then the risk of injury (musculoskeletal disorder) increasesRepetitive postures/movements - If tasks involve repetitively completing the same pattern of movement then the same structures (ligaments, muscles etc.) are being loaded in the same way without the opportunity to recover;Sustained postures/movements - If tasks involve little or no movement the flow of blood through muscles is restricted increasing the risk of discomfort or injury;Awkward postures/movements - If tasks involve adopting postures that are at the extreme ranges of normal movement the structures around the joint are stretched or compressed and the risk of injury increases. Furthermore when a joint moves further away from its normal (neutral) position, more muscular effort is needed to achieve the same force.
37 Examples of postures and movements that increase the risk of injury Working with the trunk or neck twisted or bentWorking with hands above shoulder heightReaching forward or sidewaysReaching or twisting behind the bodyWorking in kneeling, squatting, crawling or lyingWorking with extreme wrist bending or twistingWorking with tight pinch gripsCarrying or exerting force with one hand or on one the side of the bodyWorking in a static (held) positionExerting force while in an awkward postureRepetitive lifting, lowering, carrying, pushing, pulling, restraining, holdingPhotograph Source: NIOSH IC 9497: Ergonomics and Risk Factor Awareness Training for Miners
38 Risk factors: forceA manual task that involves high force is one that people in the working population would find difficult because of the effort it requiresWhere there are high forces involved in the task, even if they are not repetitive or sustained, there can be a risk of injury.The risk in tasks involving high force is related to:the intensity of the forcethe speed of the forcewhether the force is jerky or suddenA manual task that involves high force/exertion is one that people in the working population would find difficult because of the effort it requires. Forceful muscular exertions place high stress on the muscles, tendons, joints, ligaments and vertebral discs. High force/exertion also fatigues muscles and increases the time needed to recover.If there are high forces involved in the task, even if they are not repetitive or sustained, there can be a risk of injury. The risk in tasks involving high force is related to:The intensity of the force needed - Some tasks requiring force involve the whole body – for example, lifting, lowering and carrying heavy weights, or pushing a heavy load. Other tasks involve only some parts of the body, such as the hands and arms. A small amount of force could be considered high force when the small muscles of the hands are used to perform the manual task.The speed involved - Fast movements (particularly if repeated like when swinging a sledge hammer) can injure muscles, tendons and ligaments. The rapid or sudden speed changes caused by sudden or unexpected movements are high risk.Whether the force is jerky or sudden - Forces suddenly applied or stopped can overload the muscles, tendons, joints, ligaments and vertebral discs. This can occur when throwing or catching loads, or when the load or item worked on moves unexpectedly, for example, when pulling on a hose that suddenly comes free.Photograph Source: NIOSH IC 9497: Ergonomics and Risk Factor Awareness Training for Miners
39 Risk factors: duration and frequency Tasks that continue over a long period or are repeated over the work day, increase the worker’s exposureRisk of injury is influenced by:how long the task is carried out (duration); andhow often the task is done (frequency)If a task is performed continuously without any breaks for prolonged periods there is no opportunity for the structures of the musculoskeletal system to recover.If a task is done for a total of two hours over a shift or continually for more than 60 minutes at a time, this will increase the risk of injury, in particular cumulative injury risks (Code of Practice).Photograph Source: NIOSH IC 9497: Ergonomics and Risk Factor Awareness Training for Miners
40 Risk factors: work environment Aspects of the work environment that can contribute to the risk of injury when performing manual tasks include:Thermal environment – cold, heat, humidity and windWorkplace lighting – low levels of light, glareFloor surfaces – slippery, uneven, variation in levelsHousekeeping – obstructions, trip hazardsAspects of the work environment that can contribute to the risk of injury when performing manual tasks.Thermal - Higher temperature and humidity increase the total physical load on the body and more rapid fatigue. Perspiration on the hands reduces gripping ability. Cold, windy conditions, may prevent muscles being properly warmed up. Windy conditions may also increase the forces required to handle loads with a large surface area, such as sheeting.Lighting - Lower levels of light or higher levels of glare increase risk of injury. Low levels of light or the contrast between areas of bright light and deep shadows can increase the risk of tripping. Poor lighting may reduce concentration on the task.Floor surfaces - Slippery, uneven or varying level floor surfaces increase the risk of injury. Steps or steep slopes add to the difficulty of movement when handling loads.Housekeeping - Poor housekeeping can increase the risk of injury. For example obstructed access ways increases risk of tripping when carrying a load.
41 Risk factors: work systems, organisation and practices Aspects of the work organisation, work practices and systems of work that may increase the risk of injury include:pace of work and time constraintsabilityof workers to influence workload or work methodslevel of resources and guidance availableAspects of work organisation, work practices and systems of work may trigger physiological changes, such as changes in muscle tension, and this can increase the risk of injury.
42 Risk factors: vibration The longer a worker undertaking manual tasks is exposed to vibration, the greater the risk of a musculoskeletal disorderWorkers may be exposed to two types of vibration:Whole-body vibrationHand-arm vibrationExposure to harmful levels of vibration can increase the risk of musculoskeletal disorders and have a range of other health effects:Whole body vibration - occurs when a worker is in contact with a vibrating surface such as a seat or the floor in heavy vehicles or machinery, plant or equipment such as earth moving equipment. The most commonly reported musculoskeletal disorder from exposure to harmful levels of vibration is low back pain from early degeneration of the lumbar spine and herniated lumbar disc.Hand-arm vibration - occurs when vibrations are transferred to the hands and/or arms either from a tool (e.g. nut runners, impact wrenches, grinders) or from steering wheels or controls in heavy machinery. It can cause a range of conditions as a result of disrupted circulation and damage to nerves, tendons, muscles, bones and joints. These conditions are collectively known as hand-arm vibration syndrome - commonly referred to as vibration white finger
43 Source of riskDetermining the source (i.e. underlying cause) of the risk/s in a hazardous manual task is an important part of the risk assessmentSources of risk include:Work area design and layoutNature of load being handledNature of the items (including hand tools, plant and equipment)Working environment (including thermal environment, floor or ground surfaces, obstructions, lighting, noise and vibration)Systems of work, work organisation, work practicesDetermining the source or underlying (root) cause for the presence of a risk factors will assist in selecting and implementing the most effective risk control measure. For example considering what is causing a worker to adopt an awkward posture will identify what needs to be altered to improve the workers posture.Examples of common sources of risk/sThe work area design and layout - e.g. high shelves, obstructed access can result in awkward postures.Nature of load being handled – e.g. loads that are large, bulky, heavy, hard to grip, move suddenly, have uneven weight distribution, are unknown or people and animals may result in high forces and/or awkward postures.Nature of the items (including hand tools, plant and equipment) – e.g. their weight, balance, handle design/orientation, shock loading and impact forces, match to the task, continuous use may result in forceful exertions/grip and/or sustained and awkward posturesWorking environment – e.g. the thermal environment, slippery or uneven floor surfaces, steps, ramps and contaminants of floors, obstructions related to limited housekeeping and cleaning, low and excessive lighting, glare and reflection, vibration from machinery and tools.Systems of work, work organisation, work practices – e.g. time constraints, restrictions on pace and flow of work, lack of worker control, insufficient resources and staffing levels, task design , method of work and tasks designed for the “average” worker may result in sustained awkward postures and movements or high forces.
44 Severity of riskDetermining the severity of the risk helps to prioritise hazardous manual tasks for actionThe risk assessment also evaluates the severity of the risk arising from the identified hazardous manual tasks for prioritisation within existing OSH risk management systems.Some manual task risk assessment tools provide a score that describes the severity of risk as low, moderate or high. This information can transpose directly into a general risk matrix. Other checklists do not provide a score however there is consideration of the severity of the risk. From the information gathered in the risk assessment the severity of the risk can be determined by considering the likelihood of injury and the severity of those injuries utilising a general risk matrix.
45 Example of risk assessment checklist This is an example of a manual task risk assessment checklist. The checklist/s used at the participants’ workplace should be used in the presentation.The information from the risk assessment can be summarised on the risk assessment checklist.Copyright Burgess-Limerick & Associates
46 Overview of risk control Risk control means implementing effective measures to eliminate or minimise risk of injury (musculoskeletal disorders).Risk control process determines what needs to be done to alter the sources (underlying causes) of risk identified by the risk assessment, in order to eliminate or minimise the risk of injury.Control measures should follow the hierarchy of controls. Elimination or redesign/engineering controls should be implemented over administrative and PPE controlsThe risk assessment will have identified the source/s (underlying cause/s) of the risk factors in a hazardous manual task. The risk control process determines what needs to be done to alter the underlying cause/s of the risk to eliminate or minimise the risk of injury. It is very important that the control measures follow the hierarchy of control. Administrative and PPE controls should only be used as a last resort or to supplement other controls.
47 Approach to risk control Eliminate the hazardous manual taskorRedesign the work, workplace or equipment to minimise the risk of injury (musculoskeletal disorders)andProvide appropriate manual task trainingApplying the hierarchy of control to hazardous manual tasks can be summarised by the following process.Consider whether the hazardous manual task can be eliminated. In that way the risk is removed.If the task cannot be eliminated, consider how it could be modified or redesigned to reduce the risk of injury. The design or engineering controls need to change the underlying source, that is the root cause of the risk identified in the risk assessment. Administrative controls must only be used as a last resort or to supplement other controls.Task specific training is also required.
48 Risk control: elimination The ultimate control measure is to eliminate the hazardous manual taskBest practice includes:Eliminating potential hazardous manual tasks during the design of workplaces, equipment, tools, plant and systems of workIncorporating ergonomics specifications into purchasing proceduresThe ultimate control measure is to eliminate the hazardous manual task thus eliminating the hazard.Eliminating hazardous manual tasks is best achieved during the design of workplaces, equipment, tools, plant and systems of work. Design and planning activities should include hazard and risk analysis procedures to identify where potential hazardous manual tasks can be designed out.Incorporating ergonomics specifications into purchasing procedures is “best practice”.
49 Risk control measuresAlter the source (underlying cause) of the risk by altering:design and layout of the workplacenature of the load (including using mechanical aids or assistive devices)nature of the items used during manual tasks (including hand tools)working environmentwork organisation and work practices, including systems of workto minimise the risk of injury (musculoskeletal disorder) as far as is practicableThe risk control measures need to change the source, that is the underlying root cause of the risk identified in the risk assessment. The next slides provide some examples of risk control measures.It is a good idea to provide examples of risk controls implemented at the participants' work place.
50 Alter workplace design and layout Modifying workplace design and layout example 1 – changing the design and layout of controlsTo operate the water truck pump switch, workers were required to reach forward while rotating their arms (see left photograph). This action was sometimes performed every few seconds. The switch was moved to a shift pedestal (see right photograph) reducing the reach and allowing the operator’s arm to be in a neutral position when operating the switch.Location and design of switch changed to reduce reach and allow the operator’s arm to be in a neutral postureSource: NIOSH IC: 9491 Ergonomics and Mining: Charting a Path to a Safer Workplace
51 Alter workplace design and layout Modifying workplace design and layout example 2 – modifying workplace layout to improve accessWhen hosing down the wash-plant areas there was very limited access to the area (see left photograph). This resulted in the worker undertaking forceful exertions with the arms in awkward postures when holding and directing the hose. A walkway was build and installed to allow access for hosing (see right photograph). This eliminated the awkward postures.Access to wash-plant area changed to reduce awkward posturesSource: ACARP Project C11058: Reducing Musculoskeletal Risk in Open Cut Coal Mining
52 Alter workplace design and layout Modifying workplace design and layout example 3 – reducing carrying distance and raising work heightTo verify bags were accurately filled, a sampling of bags was lifted from the conveyor and weighed on a scale (see left photograph). This resulted in the worker being exposed to forceful exertions and awkward postures. To reduce exposure to these risk factors, the scale was placed on an elevated cart (see right photograph) so it could be moved closer to the conveyor (eliminating need to carry things to the scale) and the lift could be performed between knee and shoulder height.Putting the weighing scale on an elevated cart and locating it next to the conveyor eliminates the need to carry items to the scales and reduces stooping (bending back or trunk) when lifting items on and off the scaleSource: NIOSHTIC-2 No : Ergonomics Interventions at Badger Mining Corporation
53 Alter nature of the load Alter nature of the load example 1 - Attaching handles can improve grip and posture when handling loads. Workers can put the wheel chock in place without stooping/bending.Attaching a simple handle to this wheel chock improves working postureSource: NIOSH IC 9507 Reducing Low Back Pain and Disability in Mining
54 Alter nature of the load Alter the nature of the load, example 2 - using mechanical aidsThe mining industry has many unique environments. Using traditional mechanical aids or assistive devices can be difficult however there are a number of examples where they can be used easily and effectively. The following are examples of the successful applications of the use of mechanical aid/assistive devices in mining workplaces.Left – Lift stands: Facilitate load transferRight - Mobile manipulators: Lift & move heavy itemsYou may want to include photographs of mechanical aids/assistive devices used in the participants' workplace.Using mechanical aids or assistive devices reduces manual lifting, lowering, carrying, pushing, pulling and holdingSource: NIOSH IC 9507 Reducing Low Back Pain and Disability in Mining
55 Alter nature of the items Alter the nature of the item, example 1 – suspending heavy toolsThe impact wrench is being supported while the mechanic is using it to change the cutting edges on a dozer blade. The support is attached with a strap to an overhead crane. Instead of the workers holding the impact wrench, which resulted in sore hands, arms and shoulders, they only have to guide the wrench.Suspend heavy tools. The weight of impact wrench is being supported by a strap hung from an overhead craneSource: NIOSH IC: 9491Ergonomics and Mining: Charting a Path to a Safer Workplace
56 Alter nature of the items Use power hand-tools instead of manual hand-tools. Using cable cutters attached to a power drill eliminates repetitive, forceful exertions required to operate manual cable cuttersAlter the nature of the item, example 2 – use power toolsCutting copper wire with a manual cable cutter (see left hand photograph) is a highly repetitive task that involves forceful exertions. Using a cable cutter, which attaches to any power drill (see right hand photograph), eliminates forceful exertions.Source: NIOSHTIC-2 No : Ergonomics Interventions at Badger Mining Corporation
57 Alter work environment Alter the work environment to reduce the risk of injury(musculoskeletal disorder) by altering the:thermal environment – reducing and managing exposure to cold, hot, humid and windy conditionsfloor surfaces and housekeeping – selecting and maintaining appropriate floor surfaces, steps and ramps and keeping work areas clean, tidy and free of clutter and obstacleslighting – selecting lighting to suit the task being performedvibration – controlling exposure to vibration, at the source; and/or the path of the vibration; and/or the vibration received by the workerAlter the work environmentAltering the thermal environment, floor surfaces and housekeeping, lighting and vibration can reduce the risk of injury. For example unobstructed space for manual handling (good housekeeping), and environmental factors such as better lighting, can have a beneficial effect on the worker’s posture.
58 Alter the workAlter work organisation and work practices, including systems of work, to reduce the risk of injury (musculoskeletal disorder) by:implementing task rotationimplementing work breaksaltering work rateschanging work methodsreducing shift durationavoiding peak workloadsAltering the workChanging how long a manual task is done at any one time, how often it is done throughout the day or how it is done can result in a wider range of actions and postures, reduce fatigue and therefore reduce the risk of injury. Rotation through tasks involving different actions is one example of this.Other strategies involve looking at work rates, provision of breaks during long periods of repetitive actions or fixed postures, providing sufficient workers to cover peak periods and considering working hours.
59 Training General training for manual tasks risk management During inductionAs part of risk control programmeTask-specific trainingDuring induction to the taskRefresher trainingWhen tasks and/or equipment are changedTwo types of manual handling training are needed – general (risk management) training and task specific training.General training. This should occur at induction of an employee, and as part of the on-going manual handling risk control program. Everyone who organises or performs manual tasks is required to attend such training.Task specific training. This should occur during an induction to the task, as part of refresher training and when work tasks are changed as part of risk control measures. For example, if hoists are introduced, all staff who use the hoists should be given training in how to use them.Training however should not be considered the sole method of risk control.
60 Example of risk control documentation This is an example of a risk control form. You should include the risk control form used at the participants’ workplace.The risk control process should be documented including information on the risk control measure, who is responsible for implementing the control/s and the timeframe for implementation.Source: McPhee, B (1993) Ergonomics for the Control of Sprains and Strains in Mining.
61 Monitor and reviewMonitoring and reviewing the implemented control measures is essential to ensure their effectiveness and that no new hazards have been introducedThe process should include:consulting with workersobserving the tasksmonitoring any hazard / incident / injury reportsIt is extremely important to follow up on the changes that have been made as part of the risk control measures, to ensure that the changes have actually reduced the risk of injury and that no new hazards have been introduced.To do this:Consult with the employees, their supervisors and the safety and health representatives;Look at the tasks again; andMonitor any hazard, incident or injury reports
62 Stop the power point presentation at this slide. BREAK for 15 minutes.
63 Who’s responsible? Who should be involved? What consultation is needed?Should records be kept?This section looks at who initiates & implements the risk management process.Who should be involved and what consultation is needed?Experience has shown management commitment and worker participation is fundamental to the successful management of manual tasks risks. Furthermore consultation between employees and employers is a requirement of the OSH legislation.Everyone in a work place should be actively involved in identifying hazardous manual tasks. It is recommended small teams of workers from the same occupational group are involved in the manual task risk assessment process and in deriving and developing risk control measures. In other words, when carrying out the risk management process the workers doing the task should be involved in the process. This is a participative ergonomics approach.Should records be kept?Yes. Keeping of records is part of good management for all activities in the workplace.ActivityStop power point presentation & hand out copies of “Who’s Responsible” forms. Give participants approximately 5 minutes to fill in the sheet, then discuss the answers for their organisation. (15 minutes total)
64 Case studies Work in small groups (2-4 people per group) If possible get into a group with people with the same job or occupationDiscuss the case study and complete the risk assessment and risk control sectionsReport on the major risk factors found in the risk assessment, and the control measuresPractical - case studies.Hand out case studies sheets (from “workshop resources” and/or examples from the participants’ workplace). Allow between minutes per case study for participants to discuss and report back.Each group needs to discuss the case study, and then complete the risk assessment section. You can provide risk assessment checklists utilised at the participants’ workplace as well as the case study sheets. This should be done as a group, consulting with each other. The main risk factors, source/s of risk and severity of risk should be included in the risk assessment. After this, each group needs to fill in the risk control section, outlining in a few words the best options to eliminate or reduce the manual task risks. On completion, each group can report back on the major risk factors found in the risk assessment, and their control measures. This should be short, not allowing participants to get sidetracked.Return to the PowerPoint presentation.
65 The aim is to reduce the risk of injury (musculoskeletal disorders) from performing manual tasks at work, using the risk management process of:identifying hazardsassessing riskscontrolling risksmonitoring and reviewConclusion.At the end of the workshop, summarise the main points of the process of identifying hazardous manual tasks, assessing and controlling the risks arising from these tasks and control monitoring and review.Take questions.
66 References and further information Resources Safety’s guidance document Implementing an Effective Program to Manage the Risks Associated with Manual Tasks provides a list of references and resources for further informationVisit the Hazardous Manual Tasks page atA copy of the guidance document can be downloaded from