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Working with industry to manage hazards

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland is holding train the trainer PErforM (Participative Ergonomics for Manual Tasks) workshops to target hazardous manual tasks—could your organisation benefit?

Five metal manufacturing industry employers participated in a recent workshop because they had found a reluctance within the industry to tackle HMTs. They put this down to a lack of knowledge in identifying HMTs and knowing how to address the risk, as well as the workers' mindset of 'we have always done it this way'.

PErforM is a simple hazardous manual task risk management program, helping to involve workers in solving manual tasks problems by providing a simple set of techniques and behaviour-based actions for participants to learn from and follow.

At the recent metal industry workshop, Werner Engineering's Health and Safety Advisor Bindi Teimes was accompanied by two young workers who have now become PErforM champions for their workplace. They now provide coaching and feedback to peers in their workgroups and have already identified HMTs for improvement

Another workplace participant, BAE Engineering, is using PErforM to identify workers' exposure to hazardous manual tasks associated with heavy engineering works, and, in consultation with workers, has been introducing new ways of doing tasks to eliminate or reduce the risk of manual task injuries. Health and safety Advisor Don Wood says it is important the company identifies and reduces HMT injuries because they impact on not just workers, but their families, the company and the community.

By reducing injuries, the company will benefit from lower workers' compensation premiums as well as demonstrating to their customers that they care about the wellbeing of their workforce.

Further information

Are your workers regularly lifting, bending, twisting, or doing repetitive activities where weight and size are issues? Find out more about PErforM at worksafe.qld.gov.au