Category six – Best demonstrated healthy and safe work design
Two commercial competitors and large plumbing employers, CC Group and Beavis & Bartels Group along with the Master Plumbers' Association of Queensland identified the need to improve safety amongst their three workforces. Commercial plumbing is physically demanding where workers are exposed to manual tasks and risks on a daily basis. Some risks can be controlled through good planning and work design.
Consultation with workers, employers and industry occurred to identify common hazardous manual tasks and ways work design could be improved. Issues were identified though incident reporting, worksite assessments and consultation with on-site workers. Toolbox training materials were developed by occupational health physiotherapists and ergonomists with input from plumbers and project managers. Three unique training resources developed were delivered by project managers at toolbox talks to highlight the use of mechanical aids and associated risks. The toolbox talks aim to improve planning and ensure the right equipment is used at the right time.
Project managers and employees of these organisations now have a raised awareness about the importance of incorporating good work design into the planning stages of a project and understand that more detailed planning and use of mechanical aides can reduce exposure to manual tasks risks.