National manual task standard declared

THE National Standard for Manual Tasks (2007) and the National Code of Practice for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders from Performing Manual Tasks at Work (2007) were declared on 22nd August 2007 by the Australian Safety and Compensation Council (ASCC).

THE National Standard for Manual Tasks (2007) and the National Code of Practice for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders from Performing Manual Tasks at Work (2007) were declared on 22nd August 2007 by the Australian Safety and Compensation Council (ASCC).

According to Bill Scales, chairman of ASCC, the aim of the revised standard and code of practice is to prevent injuries caused by performing manual tasks at work by identifying and managing risks.

“The workplace should be a place where everyone can feel safe when performing their daily duties, whether they work at a desk, in a warehouse or a factory or on a farm,” Scales said.

“The national standard and code of practice will be adopted by all states and territories as soon as possible. It will apply to workers in almost every industry and ensure that all workers performing manual tasks at work will have the same safety protections across Australia.”

While a manual task can be any physical activity requiring a person to use part of their body to perform their work, the standard and code of practice focus on tasks which have a greater likelihood of causing an injury. These activities are referred to as hazardous manual tasks in the standard and code of practice.

A hazardous manual task can be repetitive or sustained awkward posture, movement or application of force. It also includes the application of high force or exposure to sustained vibration and handling unstable or unbalanced loads.

For more information visit www.ascc.gov.au.

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