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Oct 2020

Manual Tasks for Workers and Risk Management

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Shaping the future of learning

Welcome to another installment in Kineo’s top-ten elearning courses series. Today, our blog will be covering the Manual Tasks for Workers course. This four-section course is designed to provide employees with an understanding of the risks associated with manual tasks as well as a general awareness of how to perform these tasks safely. Learners and employers alike can be assured that the course has been reviewed by recognised subject matter expert, Greencap and designed to comply with national health and safety standards from Safe Work Australia

Manual Tasks for Workers is endorsed by the NSCA Foundation as meeting standards for educational quality and usability with the content having been developed by an appropriately credentialed subject matter expert.

Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) are the biggest type of work-related injury in Australia, amassing 55% of all serious workers’ compensation claims in 2015-16 that totalled more than $24 billion (Safe Work Australia, 2015).

Musculoskeletal disorders present themselves in a variety of inflammatory and degenerative conditions that affect the muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, nerves and blood vessels. 
Given our ageing population there is a rising economic need for later retirement. These mature workers are susceptible to ageing health conditions, including WMSDs. To protect a healthy and productive ageing workforce, implementation of more effective workplace risk management practices to reduce WMSD risk is vital.

Are you aware of hazardous manual tasks in your workplace?

The first course section gives an overview and definition of hazardous manual tasks. This includes identifying the types of activities that are considered to be hazardous manual tasks and the associated risks. These include:

  • repetitive or sustained force
  • high or sudden force
  • repetitive movement
  • sustained or awkward posture, and
  • exposure to vibration

Learners will walk through a series of icons that detail types of injuries, including sprains, fractures, and Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), and see what happens to the body when they occur. The course section also delivers information about force in a similar fashion, showing how repetitive, sustained, sudden, and high force types can each contribute to injury in a unique way. The course operates under the idea that when workers are equipped with this foundational knowledge, they can better avoid situations that cause injury.   

Learning how to prevent injury

Once learners gain an understanding of how common workplace injuries occur, the course introduces specific methodology and best practices for prevention. This starts with the hierarchy of controls: eliminating the hazard, minimising the risk, and back up controls. Essentially, this means looking at your work tasks and trying to remove potential hazards first. If that is not possible, you move on to understanding the most effective ways to minimise the risk. Finally, back-up controls like supervision, training, and personal protective equipment (PPE) need to be in place to further mitigate hazards and accidents.

The course section also looks at key sources of risk, including force and carrying loads. It examines risk assessment under the lens of the hierarchy. Can we eliminate a need for force? Can we use equipment or mechanical aids to lighten the weight of the load? What practices help reduce the risk factors for strain? These are the types of questions the training addresses and they encourage critical thinking from the learner.  An interactive exercise also presents scenarios and users are asked to confirm if the situation is safe or not. Through this exercise, they get real-world examples of how to apply the knowledge. 

Safe practices for performing manual tasks

The course continues in the next section with more safe practices for risk management and preventing injury. A key component in this section is the importance of warming up and stretching. Plus, it covers specific and proven techniques for lifting, carrying, lowering and pushing loads safely. An interactive step-by-step guide shows learners precisely how to carry and lower a load with their legs, as opposed to putting strain their back, which is a common cause for injury. The section also features a list of lifting techniques that must be identified as correct or incorrect. 

Additionally, learners will get insight on preventing injury during repetitive force scenarios. The course also covers practices for lifting people and animals, should those situations arise. Scenarios are once again presented and learners are required to identify the correct actions to be taken out of a list of good and bad options. 

Safety first. Becoming competent and compliant for manual work tasks 

After successfully completing the four course sections, learners will have the ability to download and print their certification for meeting the safety code of practice for manual tasks.  The course features three multiple choice assessments that come at the end of key topic areas. Mini interactive safety quizzes are also featured throughout the sections to ensure vital and practical information is being processed. 

If you’d like more information on Kineo’s Manual Tasks for Workers, visit the course page here. This is just one of many top courses in our learning library. We also offer learning materials on EEO Diversity Training, General Evacuation Training, Health and Safety Fundamentals, and many more. Visit our learning library for the full catalogue and feel free to contact us with any specific enquiries.  



Shaping the future of learning

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