Manual Handling Injury Prevention
Has anyone implemented a successful programme for reduction of manual handling injuries? Provention and their First Move trainers have caught my eye. Has anyone had any experience with using them? Any other tidbits of information, signposts to research, suggestions etc, are all welcome. I'm keen to do a deep dive into this, (that of course involves our trades), and establish an effective programme that makes a real difference to our workers.
Thanks in advance!
The results of
could be of interest here?
If you wish to email me directly we can discuss
we use the Provention First Move programme.
Feedback from our staff has been overwhelmingly positive, and we have seen a 93% reduction in injuries over the last five years.
We liked how the programme was tailored to what our tasks were (and the underlying context), rather than a generic course.
We engaged with Alison from Provention and she created two great little eLearning modules (Move Safe) for us using her techniques. We would highly recommend working with Provention - they will tailor things for your workplace. I'm happy to share what we have if you are interested.
Nicky Primrose (Mitre 10)
signposts to research
What constitutes effective manual handling training? A systematic review
A literature review paper of 53 research papers into the effectiveness of manual handling training.
from the abstract's conclusion - "The evidence collected indicates that manual handling training is largely ineffective in reducing back pain and back injury. High priority should be given to developing and evaluating multidimensional interventions, incorporating exercise training to promote strength and flexibility, which are tailored to the industrial sector."
However the paper does comment that a large proportion of the 53 research papers that were reviewed low of low quality, so got to take it with some salt.
My thoughts are to first focus on where you can physically change how manual handling must be done, e.g. redesign of workspaces, provision of suitable tools, and/or reassessment of standard methods for tasks (breaking down more strenuous tasks into smaller sub-tasks). Although on that last one you've got to be careful - I don't know how true the anecdote is but one story of introducing 25kg bags for concrete drymix bags (compared to 40kg) actually had a negative effect as now it was possible to easily move 50kg at a time rather than the previous 40kg.
The focus on fitness for work by, as the paper indicates, providing strength and flexibility training might give more (long term) bang for the buck than training of "good lifting techniques" (but as expected of an academic paper this questions needs further research...). I wonder what staff reaction would be if workers where heavy manual handling was required were provided a gym on site (or gym membership) and "X hours of strength and flexibility training per week" was part of their job description - i.e. free gym membership and get paid to work out to build/maintain the fitness for work required for the jobs they are required to complete.
I'm a trained First Move trainer (Provention) and cannot recommend this training highly enough. Alison is great to work with.
When I worked at Ports of Auckland, we implemented a tailored injury prevention programme we called PortFit. It was designed to prevent manual handling injuries for stevedores, but it was widely embraced by all parts of the business.
The programme was designed by Dr Keith Hammond, based on biomechanical principles. His LineFit programme for electrical linesmen won the Supreme Safety Award in 2011.
Key principles of his approach include understanding the nature of work tasks and the stress they put on the body. After determining these, he develops a fitness training programme to strengthen key parts of the body - most notably core strength - and then aims to use the same equipment workers use to do their work to do their exercises in suitable area within the workplace, such as in a corner of a warehouse (Ports of Auckland was able to develop dedicated facilities in unused office space, and the CEO committed to buying gym equipment).
Participants are required to commit to completing a 12-week programme, attending a minimum of 3x per week. Participants complete a set of assessments at the start and again at the end to assess progress - a fitness test, body measurements, photos, and a well-being questionnaire.
At Ports of Auckland, there was so much interest and enthusiasm after the first programme that we also ran a maintenance programme alongside new intakes. We also experienced a lot of other benefits, including people making a lot more cross-functional connections, more cameraderie, improved communication, and more awareness and interest in general wellbeing initiatives, such as nutrition, healthy eating, fatigue, weight management, etc. We even found ourselves the subject of a TV3 news story at one point!
I wonder what staff reaction would be if...
well I guess I got an answer to my question!
Steffan St Clair-Newman
Interested in this topic as well, will look at the options suggested and see if they would suit our needs.:grin:
Steffan St Clair-Newman
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