We're getting better, but preventable injuries still happen

Musculoskeletal (MSK) injuries are among the most prevalent health risks to Australian workers. Pleasingly, serious injuries and workers compensation claims have steadily declined over the past two decades, however there are still thousands of avoidable incidents in Australian workplaces every year, many due to poor manual handling practices. Injuries often relate to tasks including repetitive or sustained force, high or sudden force, repetitive movement, sustained or awkward posture and exposure to vibration. Workers undertaking these tasks can experience body stressing injuries, potentially rendering them unfit for their normal role for extended periods of time. Our training aims to help workers recognise these hazardous task characteristics before they cause injury to themselves or others.

Manual handling training has a new name!

We teach Manual Handling as one module of a workplace safety initiative, called Participative Ergonomics. "Participative" simply means to be involved or take part. "Ergonomics", from the Greek word "ergon", is the study of people's interaction (moreover efficiency) with their work environment. The underpinning assumptions of Participative Ergonomics are:

  1. Workers are often the experts.
  2. Given the appropriate knowledge, skills, tools, facilitation, resources and encouragement…
  3. They are best placed to identify and analyse problems and…
  4. Develop and implement solutions effective in reducing risk of injury.

We don't just train your team, we help motivate them to positively contribute to workplace safety.

Manual Handling Training (Participative Ergonomics)

Participative Ergonomics is the involvement of workers in planning and controlling a large amount of their own work activities, with sufficient knowledge, wisdom and power to influence both processes and outcomes, to achieve desirable goals and stay safe.

Manual Handling Training (Participative Ergonomics)

Out with the old, in with the new

In the past, Manual Handling training was primarily used to teach workers how to lift correctly in an attempt to reduce the incidence of the number one injury in the workplace, low back pain (LBP). We have since discovered through high quality research that training workers in proper material handling techniques or providing them with assistive devices are not effective interventions by themselves in preventing back pain. This is not to say that manual handling education is redundant, it's more that simply teaching a worker how to position themselves for a task or providing them items such as back braces is no longer enough.

We've had to rethink the whole approach to Injury Prevention in the workplace and as such we've moved to a risk management framework, coupled with intentional collaboration with the workforce. Hence the participative approach.

It's all about training your team to recognise hazards and find ways to improve safe work practices

Risk management is the crux of Participative Ergonomics. When we work together to analyse the hazards in our workplaces and put controls in place to manage them, we go a long way toward improving safety, productivity, culture, confidence and trust.

Risk Management is not a new concept in safety, however facilitating greater ownership and responsibility driven by your team is not always an easy process. We place a strong emphasis on empowering and motivating your workers when we deliver this training. We work with your HSE representatives and keep examples relevant and applicable to your industry.

Manual Handling Training (Participative Ergonomics)

Manual Handling Training (Participative Ergonomics)

So what! Does it work?

There's very good evidence a participative approach to Risk Management and Manual Handling training reduces injuries in the workplace more effectively than older, top-down methods. Our governing registration body AHPRA prevents us from publishing data we've analysed with our partners or providing supportive testimonials, so you'll need to contact us to enquire! Successful programs certainly aim to result in:

  • Reduction in musculoskeletal injuries (MSK)
  • Improved flow of useful information within the organisation
  • Improvement in the meaningfulness of work
  • More rapid technological and organisational change
  • Enhanced performance
  • More effective solutions
  • Greater ownership and commitment

Choose training that's fresh and inspiring for your team, taught by subject matter experts

We're biased of course, but we think Participative Ergonomics is best taught by Physiotherapists who come to your workplace and deliver the training in the context of your job roles, with your workforce's expertise. We have a keen eye for task observation and know a lot about human biomechanics, work injuries and prevention. However, your people will know their job roles a whole lot better than us. This collaboration of knowledge makes for a dynamic and engaging annual training program.

Chat with us, we're Physiotherapists and the workplace is our forte.

Manual Handling Training (Participative Ergonomics)

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