Consultative team to assess manual handling and reduce the risk of occupational injury

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-344
Journal / PublicationOccupational and Environmental Medicine
Volume58
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Abstract

Objectives - To describe the formation of a consultative team to assess the risk of manual handling in the workplace that started in October 1992 within the cleaning services department of a 600 bed hospital, and to evaluate the effectiveness of its recommendations in reducing the rate and severity (time lost and cost) of workers' compensation injury. Methods - The consultative team identified, assessed, and recommended controls for manual handling and other injury risks. Data on injuries counted before and after implementation of the team's recommendations were obtained for the cleaning services study group, an orderly services comparison group, as well as cleaners from a peer hospital and for the State of Western Australia. Evaluation of the four groups was undertaken 3 years after the end of the study period, to allow maturation of the costs of the claims (adjusted to July 1998 consumer price index) and hours lost from work. Results - Statistical analysis showed that implementation of the recommendations significantly reduced numbers and rates of injury, but not the severity of injury, in the cleaning services study group. There was no difference in numbers or severity of injuries for the comparison groups before and after implementation of the recommendations. Conclusions - The recommendation of the consultative team can produce a meaningful and sustained reduction in rates of injury within an at risk population. The results support a consultative approach to reducing workplace injuries from manual handling. The team process has potential for application to occupational groups at risk of exposure to other types of hazards.

Research Area(s)

  • Ergonomics, Injury, Participatory, Risk assessment, Teams