Hazardous Manual Tasks (Ergonomics)

HS432 Hazardous Manual Task Procedure outlines how risks associated with manual activities at UNSW must be managed.

Workers may suffer serious injuries arising from lifting, vibration, bad posture, sudden force, overuse and/or repetitive strain due to poor task design, workstation setup and/or lack of training. To prevent these injuries, supervisors must implement and maintain safe ergonomic practices within their areas of responsibility. Various guides provide instruction to perform for many forms of hazardous manual tasks safely including, workstation and laboratory setup. These guides are available on the Hazard Management: Manual Tasks (Ergonomics) website. Identification of hazards associated manual tasks and the controls to be implemented should be documented using HS902 Manual Handling Risk management form.

All new workers must complete the mandatory online Ergonomics training. In addition, all workers that have a computer workstation  must use the HS114 Workstation Checklist to evaluate their work area and implement strategies to minimise the likelihood of Occupational Overuse Syndrome. A Working from Home Checklist is also available to ensure office work conducted off-campus is also safe.

To minimise exposure to lifting hazards reference should be made to HS706 Guide to Hazardous Manual Tasks. Where the shape or mass of an object exceeds your personal comfort level team lifting should be adopted. Trolleys should be used to eliminate the need for carrying heavy or bulky objects. Ensure the trolley is appropriate for your task, free of defects, and the wheels move freely and are suitable for the floor surface. For moving heavy objects BEES has an adjustable trolley capable of transporting loads up to 350 kg. An induction to use this trolley is required before authorisation to operate it is granted. For deliveries mounted on pallets a forklift with an authorised driver can be arranged through the Faculty of Science Store in the Lowy Building.