Research indicates that the provision of correctly adjusted workstation equipment and employee training will reduce the frequency of symptoms of MSDs in the workplace**.

Ergonomics/Manual Handling Training:

Manual Handling is part of almost every physical activity we do and needs to be considered as part of the overall management of Work, Health and Safety in the workplace.

According to Workcover NSW, manual handling injuries cost NSW workplaces over $350 million every year with an average cost of $22,000 per employee injury.

training topics:

  • What is Ergonomics and Manual Handling?
  • Causes and costs of Manual Handling injuries
  • Anatomy, Biomechanics and Posture
  • Principles of Ergonomic Workstation layout and design
  • Understanding Manual Handling injuries – Signs and Symptoms of Musculoskeletal Disorders
  • Risk Assessment and Hazard Identification
  • The PLAN S.M.A.R.T concept of Manual Handling
  • Prevention of Injury – Early Action
  • Exercises/Stretching/Rest breaks

“Train the Trainer” programs are also available to enable management to provide ongoing education and feedback to employees.

Ergoeffect will tailor a training package for your specific needs and requirements.

All training programs are interactive and include demonstrations of correct workstation layout and manual handling techniques.

What is a Musculoskeletal Disorder (MSD)?

A musculoskeletal disorder, as defined in the Work Health & Safety Act, means an injury to, or a disease of, the musculoskeletal system, whether occurring suddenly or over time.

MSDs may include conditions such as:

  • sprains and strains of muscles, ligaments and tendons
  • back injuries, including damage to the muscles, tendons, ligaments, spinal discs, nerves, joints and bones
  • joint and bone injuries or degeneration, including injuries to the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, ankle, hands and feet
  • nerve injuries (e.g. carpal tunnel syndrome)

MSDs occur in two ways:

  • gradual wear and tear to joints, ligaments, muscles and inter-vertebral discs caused by repeated or continuous use of the same body parts, including static body positions
  • sudden damage caused by strenuous activity, or unexpected movements such as when loads being handled move or change position suddenly.

Injuries can also occur due to a combination of these mechanisms, for example, body tissue that has been weakened by cumulative damage may be vulnerable to sudden injury by lower forces.

Workers are more likely to develop MSDs if they perform jobs with risk factors that include repetitive movements, forceful efforts and fixed or awkward postures.

In most cases symptoms from MSDs may be significantly reduced with minor workstation adjustments and adherence to rest breaks, task rotation and other preventative measures. 

As with almost all health and safety issues it is more cost effective to prevent an injury than to make changes and adjustments after an injury has occurred.

Taking proactive steps to eliminate or reduce exposure to work related risk factors can minimise the risk of MSDs in the workplace.

** BC.Amick et al Spine Vol.28, No.24 2003