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Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare: Manual handling


Maintain natural curves of the spine (back straight', buttocks protruding) ... Self-monitor own fitness; seek assistance prn; participate in ongoing education ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare: Manual handling

Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare Manual
  • Dr Merri Paech, 2007
  • School of Nursing Midwifery

  • Occupational Health Safety Welfare
  • Manual Handling
  • Manual handling issues for radiographers
  • Conclusion

Occupational Health, Safety Welfare
  • Promotion of a healthy work environment, healthy
    work practices and health at work
  • Development of occupational health standards
    based on scientific risk assessment
  • (WHO 2004)

OHSW legislation in SA
  • SA Workers Rehabilitation Compensation Act,
  • Occupational Health, Safety Welfare Act, 1986
  • Hundreds of regulations and codes of practice
    (minimum standards) exist - including Manual
    Handling Regulations, 1990

OHSW terminology
  • HAZARD a set of circumstances that may cause
    harmful consequences
  • RISK the likelihood of harm occurring from a

OHSW processes
  • Workplace hazards are identified.
  • Risks are assessed and controlled.
  • Nothing is considered safe. It may be termed
    negligible risk.
  • E.g. a moving barouche is a hazard. If it is
    being pushed quickly the risk increases.

Steps taken to protect workers in SA
  • Consultation with employees and their
  • Hazard identification risk assessment of each
    hazard risk control to prevent/minimise injury
    or illness.
  • Provision of education and training, and
    supervision for employees.
  • Reporting (to Workcover) of hazardous situations,
    fatalities, illness and injuries to prevent them
    happening again.

OHSW information is available from
  • World Health Organisation
  • http//www.who.int/
  • National Occupational Health and Safety Council
  • http//nohsc.gov.au/
  • Workcover Corporation (SA)
  • http//www.workcover.com.au/
  • See the Workcover Corporation (2002) Workplace
    Health and Safety Handbook

OHSW hazards for healthcare professionals
  • Manual handling
  • Infection control
  • Violent/aggressive clients
  • Exposure to chemicals/drugs (cleaning agents,
    cytotoxic drugs, gases)
  • Environmental hazards machinery, electricity
    and water
  • Hazardous disposals human excreta, body fluids
    and sharps
  • Stress due to the nature and hours of work

OHSW (Manual Handling) Regulations, 1990 pp1
  • Define manual handling as
  • Any activity requiring the use of force exerted
    by a person to lift, lower, push, pull, carry or
    otherwise move, hold or restrain a person, animal
    or thing.
  • (There are also National Manual Handling
    Regulations 1998)

Manual handling practices
  • Under the OHSW legislation, employers and
    employees have responsibilities.
  • ANF No lift, no injury Policy for nursing
  • Employees need to
  • be aware of the structure of the spine -
    ligaments, muscles and discs
  • have good posture
  • reduces musculoskeletal strain
  • aids in maintaining muscle tone
  • reduces injury risk

Back care
  • Maintain the natural curves of the spine
  • Prevent stress on intervertebral discs
  • Avoid bending and twisting the spine
  • Use large skeletal muscles when manual handling
  • Vary posture
  • Incorporate rest breaks
  • Gentle and regular stretching
  • Job rotation or change of tasks
  • (Timbs Dean 1997)

Safe manual handling
  • Feet apart, knees bent (semi-squat)
  • Maintain natural curves of the spine (back
    straight, buttocks protruding)
  • Brace abdominal and arm muscles
  • Work with elbows in, if possible
  • Use your body weight to move things/people
  • Remember the pivot points of the adult body
  • Communicate clearly
  • Use the clients momentum
  • (Timbs Dean 1997)

Principles of Manual Handling
  • Assess
  • Plan discuss reduce the load (cooperation and
  • Implement using good body mechanics (isometric
    tensing of arms, legs, abdomen and gluteals to
    reduce the energy used), with the load close to
    your centre of gravity
  • Evaluate

A scenario reported to members of the Australian
Association for the Manual Handling of People
(AAMHP), June 2005
E-mail discussion list
  • I work in the Nuclear Medicine department. The
    technologists that work here have asked if we
    have any equipment that can aid them with
    transferring patients onto the scanning beds.
  • At the moment, the patient walks into the room,
    steps on a stool and lies on a scanning bed. The
    technologists state that this is presenting a few
    problems because . . .

. . the problems
  • The patient has nothing to hold onto when
    stepping on and off the stool, apart from the
  • The unsteadiness of the patient stepping on and
    off the stool has caused some patients to scrape
    their legs on the side of the stool, ending up
    with skin tears.
  • The technologists state that continually bending
    down to move the stools is causing a lot of
    strain on their backs.

Simple solution . . . . .
  • Handrails fitted to the steps
  • May need to be custom - made

On-line discussion item posted 25th July 2006 for
AAMHP members
Any good equipment design solutions?Any
alternative organisational procedures?
  • Would anyone have any suggestions to address
    some of the manual handling problems faced by
  • Having to assume awkward working postures to
    access equipment controls/assist patients into
    position/during ultrasound scanning
  • Forceful exertions to place x-ray films into
  • Problems are compounded by staff shortages and
    psychosocial factors (dealing with anxious
    patients/working to time constraints/waiting

OHS outcome?
  • What should have occurred?

Traditionally cited risk factors for manual
handling injuries
  • Frequent bending
  • Stress
  • Prolonged static posture
  • Fatigue
  • Heavy physical work
  • Sudden unexpected loads
  • Poor muscle tone
  • (Timbs Dean 1997)

Manual handling . . a team sport?
  • Be fit - exercise, eat breakfast, have calcium,
    iron and protein in your diet
  • Warm up
  • Work as a team - include the client (lighten the
  • Use equipment provided
  • Keep equipment in good working order
  • Practice skills to develop expertise

Lifelong learning of new skills
  • Develop manual handling expertise by
  • Becoming bio-mechanically more efficient
  • Improving the self-monitoring of your actions
  • Spending time problem-solving before acting
  • Be part of a positive safety culture in clinical
  • Encourages better decision-making (Hignett
    Crumpton 2006).
  • Also be concerned for client welfare they are
    sometimes forgotten.

Competence in Manual Handling
  • Knowledge
  • Identify, assess and control risks plan
    communicate requirements
  • Skills
  • Apply ergonomic principles to prevent injury to
    self/others apply correct techniques and
  • Personal values/attributes
  • Self-monitor own fitness seek assistance prn
    participate in ongoing education
  • (NSW Nurses Association and WorkCover NSW, 1998)

  • OHSW promotes the health of people at work.
  • Employers must provide a safe work environment.
  • All healthcare personnel need to be pro-active
    about manual handling issues.

  • Australian Government Comcare (1998) Manual
    Handling Regulations and Approved Code of
    Practice, viewed July 31 2006 http//www.comcare.g
  • Government of South Australia (1986) Workers
    Rehabilitation Compensation Act, viewed 31 July
    2006 lthttp//www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/sa/consol
  • Government of South Australia (1986) Occupational
    Health, Safety Welfare Act, viewed 31 July 2006
  • Hignett S, Crumpton E (2007) Competency based
    training for patient handling. Applied
    Ergonomics, Vol 38 7-17.
  • NSW Nurses Association and WorkCover NSW (1998)
    Manual Handling COmpetecnies for Nurses.
    WorkCover NSW, September.
  • Timbs P, Dean P (1997) The Manual Handling
    Instruction Book. Timbs Dean, South Australia.
  • World Health Organisation (2004) Occupational
    Health, viewed 31 July 2006 lthttp//www.who.int/to
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