Manual Handling

Musculoskeletal Disorders – Hazardous Manual Tasks - With an increasing ageing population planning for the future is something which is becoming very real. Organisations are seeing an increase in both serious injuries claimed by employees aged 55 years plus (graph 1) and the compensation paid by organisation (graph 2).

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  • Manual Handling

    This workshop is designed to align and engage leadership and the workforce in the management of musculoskeletal related harm and injuries.

Percentage of claimants (serious claims) aged 15-24
and 55+ years old, 2000-01 to 2012-13p.

‘Australian Workers’ Compensation Statistics, 2012-2013’


The proportion of all serious claims awarded to employees aged 55 and above rose from 9% in 2000–01 to 18% in 2011–12 and has exceeded the proportion of all serious claims awarded to employees aged 15–24 years since 2007–08.

Number and incidence rate of workplace injuries by age 2012/13

Graph 2

In NSW the average gross incurred cost for a workers compensation claim in 2012/13 was $16,739, however, half the claims in that period resulted in a gross incurred cost of $8565 or less

Serious claims: median time lost by mechanism of injury, 2000-01 to 2011-12

Graph 3

From 2000 – 2012 Australian Workers' Compensation Statistics (2012–13) show that the medium lost time by muscular injury has increased 7% year on year. Accompanied with the rising ageing workforce and incidence rate with age companies are needing to developed rigid manual task practices and controls.

What are manual tasks (manual handling)?

Manual Tasks are any task that requires an individual to use force to lift, push, pull, lower, carry or otherwise move, restrain or hold. It also includes any task that requires an individual to assume awkward postures, repetitive tasks, sustained postures and exposure to vibration.

Managing the risk?

It is incredible to think that 60% of injuries to Australia’s workforce involve the musculoskeletal system (NSW Workers Compensation Statistical bulletin 2012/12) and are most often related to the performance of manual tasks. Legally, employers are required to provide safe systems to prevent or minimise manual task (manual handling) risks in each workplace. Managing these risks to prevent work-related musculoskeletal disorders requires a systematic process. Ethos Health have a suite of solutions the can help organisations with:

  • Risk identification. Ethos Health can assist the identification of problem tasks which are likely to, or have contributed to injury.
  • Risk assessment. Ethos Health investigate the problem tasks and in collaboration with the workforce determine the risk factors and evaluate their importance and investigate root causes
  • Risk control. Once identified and assessed Ethos Health can guide a workplace to implement solutions to control the work-related musculoskeletal disorders.

MoveSAFE Goals

  1. Reduction in musculoskeletal related sprain and strain injuries for the workforce
  2. Reduction in submitted claims, lead indicators (LTI, TRIFR), RTW duration, absenteeism, presenteeism and associated costs.
  3. Minimise impact of injuries on core business activities (e.g. production).
  4. To satisfy legislative and compliance requirements in relation to risk minimisation.

Ethos Health Approach

MoveSAFE Goals

We are industry leaders in enabling workplaces to prevent and better manage their musculoskeletal injury risk. We have a range of services focused on the prevention of musculoskeletal disorders which ensures your workplace meets legislative requirements and minimises related costs. Our highly experienced and capable team work across a diverse range of industries including mining, government, aged care, transport, construction, manufacturing, defence and office environments.

Manual Task Techniques

Our principles based SPLAT guidelines form our pragmatic approach to all manual tasks.

Legal Requirements

Consistent with legislation and current codes of practice

Musculoskeletal Disorder

Combining lifestyle information and behaviour approach to addressing musculoskeletal risks

MoveSAFE Clients


Drayton Mine, Mt Owen Mine, Glencore Mines, Centennial Coal various U/G pits, Glencore various U/G pits, Cornwall Coal,

Ashton Coal, Abel and Tasman Mines (underground mining), Integra Coal (Open Cut & UG)

Local Government (Councils)

Lake Macquarie City, Newcastle City, Port Stephens City, Wyong Shire, Botany City

Food manufacturing


Corporate office

ARTC, Newcastle Permanent, Grain Corp Oils and Grain divisions


Hunter Water, Wyong Water, Ausgrid, Country Energy

Plant manufacturing

Sandvik, Port Hunter Conveyors, DSI, Reliable Conveyor Belt