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Leadership in major contractors: Preventing sprain and strain injuries campaign

This campaign aimed to decrease the number of musculoskeletal injuries to construction workers by benchmarking current industry practice and raising principal contractor awareness about hazardous manual tasks risk management on their projects.

The campaign focused on the critical and influential leadership role principal contractors have in managing hazardous manual tasks at construction worksites. Musculoskeletal injuries caused by hazardous manual tasks continues to be a significant issue for the construction industry. Management commitment and leadership is required to decrease the impact these injuries have on workers and organisations.

Phase one of the campaign consisted of an advisory assessment of the principal contractors' hazardous manual tasks risk management systems followed by on-site verification assessment. Large principal contractors from the commercial and civil sectors were included in the assessments.

The findings highlighted that reducing musculoskeletal disorders in construction requires strong industry leadership and collaboration with all stakeholders.

The results of phase 1 can be viewed below:

Phase 2 of the campaign:

  • followed up assessments with organisations who participated in phase 1
  • assessed other major and large contractors.

WHSQ engaged with phase 1 participants to discuss best practice opportunities and assess changes made regarding hazardous manual tasks (HMT) related safety systems and risk controls.

The campaign also measured changes across industry and assessed their compliance with hazardous manual tasks under WHS legislation, engaging with other major and large principal contractors not involved in phase 1.

The campaign was an opportunity for organisations in both the commercial and civil construction sectors to assess and improve the effectiveness of their current hazardous manual task risk management systems.


There are a range of other hazardous manual task resources you can download and use in your workplace.