DEECD recognises that manual handling injuries account for a significant proportion of all injuries that occur within the Department and that in most cases they are preventable. Manual handling is not simply the act of lifting items. Manual handling is any activity requiring the use of force exerted by a person to lift, lower, push, pull, carry or otherwise move, hold or restrain any object. Manual handling tasks in DEECD can vary greatly and could include lifting or restraining a student, carrying boxes of copy paper or files, transporting audio visual equipment around a school, pushing a whiteboard into a meeting room or even using a keyboard.
The risk of injury associated with manual handling increases with tasks that involve:
All hazardous manual handling tasks must be identified and controlled. Identification of hazardous manual handling tasks can occur in a number of ways, including but not limited to:
There is no legislated weight limit that is considered “safe” for manual handling. Individuals have different physical capabilities which must be considered when taking into account any manual handling task. The weight of an object is not necessarily the only thing that makes a task hazardous.
Hazardous manual handling tasks may be carried out in many DEECD locations including office environments, general classrooms; cleaners store rooms; canteens; gymnasiums and libraries. Some examples of hazardous tasks may include:
The physical environment can also increase the risk of injury. As an example, when tasks are performed in poor visibility, on slippery or uneven surfaces or in temperature extremes (hot or cold).
Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004
Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007
OHS Advisory Service 1300 074 715