Manual handling involves the use of the human body to move loads from one place to another, principally by lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling or carrying. Manual handling becomes a work safety issue where heavy weights cause injuries, most often to the back. Most factories, manufacturing plants and distribution systems still require manual handling tasks to be performed by their workers. Accordingly, strains resulting from manual handling are the most common type of workplace injury.
When performed incorrectly, repeatedly or excessively, carrying heavy loads may expose employees to physical risk factors. These factors can manifest themselves in a variety of musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) such as:
- Sprains and strains of muscles, ligaments and tendons.
- Back injuries including damage to the muscles, tendons, ligaments, spinal discs, nerves, joints and bones.
- Joint and bone injuries or degeneration, including injuries to the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, ankle, hands and feet.
- Nerve injuries or compression (for example carpal tunnel syndrome).
- Muscular and vascular disorders as a result of hand arm vibration.
- Soft tissue injuries such as hernias.
- Chronic pain (pain that lasts longer than three months).
- Acute pain (pain that lasts less than three months).
Employers have a duty to protect employees from injury during manual handling activities. Safe Work Australia recommends that a risk assessment should be carried out for any activity likely to be hazardous. These will help identify:
- Postures, movements and forces that pose a risk and at what point they may become dangerous.
- Why they are happening and what needs to done for them to be fixed.
At the bottom of this profile are brief details of a number of the experts that Expert Experts represents. Call our office to discuss your requirements and to obtain an expert submission that suits your needs and budget.
Expertise in Action
Experts in manual handling may be required for a range of reasons including:
- To evaluate ergonomics in the workplace.
- To assess workplace environments where the alleged injury occurred to establish issues of fact.
- To assess injuries.
For some fields of expertise we have some sample sections of de-identified reports. Please contact our office if you are interested in a sample.
The overall cost of expert opinion depends on the services required. Some of the key factors that affect the cost of advice include:
- The need for a view or inspection of a location
- The quantity of documentary material to be reviewed
- Whether there are reports of other experts to be reviewed and commented on in detail
- Whether there is a need for conferences with the expert either in person or by telephone/Skype