Manual Handling Injuries in the Workplace
Did you know that manual handling injuries in the workplace cost Australia $28B per year? Moreover, identified in Safe Work Australia’s Australian Workers Compensation Report there were 120,355 serious claims between 2019-2020.
However, before we delve into this further, let us first discuss what actually qualifies as manual handling in the workplace. Manual handling covers a wide range of activities including lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, restraining, throwing and carrying. Furthermore, it involves repetitive tasks such as packing, typing, assembling, cleaning and sorting, using hand tools, and operating machines and equipment (www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au).
In spite of the fact that manual handling is a hazardous task, most jobs do involve some type of manual handling in some form or another. Although proper posture and lifting techniques can lower the risk of manual handling injuries for most workers, research has shown that they can only reduce these risks to some extent. Studies have indicated that making changes to workplace design and equipment is the most effective way to prevent manual handling injury.
With 19% of all serious claims (by industry sector) in 2019-20 being reported from the Health Care and Social Assistance sector; what should hospitals, clinics and care facilities be doing to improve further the safety of their workers, and patients?
Identifying Hazards in Healthcare
One of the common workplace injuries within the Healthcare Sector is lifting, supporting and moving.
Often, such injuries occur in hospitals and healthcare settings when employees have to lift, move or twist patients, heavy objects, or bend, twist, or reach a lot. Work like this can lead to musculoskeletal disorders like sprains and strains to the back and shoulders. Typical examples are transferring patients from bed to chair and handling trolleys, equipment and wheelchairs.
Equipment to Address Common Healthcare Hazards
If you are redesigning the space or upgrading current systems, it is imperative to choose ergonomic furniture and equipment that reduces the risk of injuries. Emery Industries manufactures and ergonomically designs the following equipment; it will enable you to take the necessary steps to reduce the risk of manual handling injuries at work:
- Height Adjustable Workstations/Hi/Lo Workstations;
- Load reducing linen skips;
- Overbed Tables;
- Emery Pharmacy Shelving;
- MediMesh/WireMax storage solutions;
- Bariatric Solutions;
- Weighted IV Poles
Height Adjustable Workstations/Hi/Lo Work Stations:
Height Adjustable Workstations, Wrap Stations and Sinks ensures that the workspace heights are appropriate to reduce the need for awkward postures.
SP540.02- 2 x Circular Bowl
- Item:Double Bowl Height Adjustable Sink Unit
- Dimensions:2000w x 700d x (900 to 1150)h
- Bowl:2 x 550 x 175 deep
- SP540.02- 2 x Circular Bowl
SP534.1 – Heat Sealing Station Height Adjustable – Electric 240 Volt
- Item: Heat Sealing Station – 240V Electric Height Adjustment
- Dimensions: 1400w x 800d x (800-1450)h
- Shelves: Compact Laminate Working Surface
2 x Compact Laminate Storage Shelf (1200 x 300)
- SP534.1 – Heat Sealing Station Height Adjustable (Compact Laminate Top)
SP545 – Ultrasonic Cleaning Bench – Height Adjustable
- Part Number: SP545
- Item: Ultrasonic Cleaning Bench – Height Adjustable
- Dimensions: 1000w x 550d x 660 – 1300
- SP545 – Ultrasonic Cleaning Bench – Height Adjustable
Load Reducing Linen Skips
Emery design is the OH&S Preferred Option due to reduced risk on manual handling injuries and reduced work place injury. The reason for this is they are impossible to be overfilled and they are made with a higher working platform level for emptying the bag; both of these features decreases the risk of overfilled linen bags which in turn lessens the weight being lifted and therefore reduces risk for end users.
Any ability to reduce work place injuries replicate into savings multiplied
SS40LR – Single Load Reducing Linen Skip
- Part Number: SS40LR
- Item: Load Reducing Linen Skip (Single)
- Dimensions:380 x 420 x 900h (Very Stable with Small Foot Print)
- SS40LR – Single Load Reducing Linen Skip
Historically, Overbed tables require two hands to operate the screw mechanism. Using one hand to loosen and tighten the key wheel, and the other to adjust the height while holding the table in position.
Despite its simplicity, performing this task repeatedly over long shifts and balancing food and drink on the table at the same time is a preventative and unnecessary strain on the medical staff.
In regards to Emery Industries Overbed Table, the height can be easily adjusted with just one hand with a spring-loaded mechanism, that can be found on our SS61BH model.
SS62U – Overbed Table – U Shaped Base
- Part Number: SS62U
- Item: Overbed Table – U Shaped Base
- Dimensions: 800w x 400d x (700 – 1100)h
- SS62U – Overbed Table – U Shaped Base
Emery Pharmacy Shelving
Emery Pharmacy Shelving allow for ease of storage and stock rotation therefore providing staff easy access due to each shelf opening individually.
Not only does this shelving have direct benefits in the reduction of manual handling incidents, it also provides the following key benefits:
- Increased storage capacity of up to 45-50% in the same space
- Improve stock management through use of FIFO inventory principles
- Allows for better stock location through easy to use shelf configurations
- Improved visibility of stocks to help manage stock levels better
EPS-SB-6-4 – Single Bay 9 Pull Out Drawers
- Part Number: EPS-SB-6-4
Item: Emery Pharmacy Storage (EPS) – Single Bay
Dimensions: 630W – 520D – 2100H
- EPS-SB-6-4 – Single Bay 9 Pull Out Drawers
One size does not fit all solutions, when selecting shelving it is imperative the need matches the correct solution by not overloading shelves.
MM-NC-600-1750-5T – MediMesh Nickel/Chrome Wire Shelving Bundle
- Wire mesh with a stainless steel finish (available in nickel/chrome as well)
- Dust and dirt-free displays. No piles of dust hidden under the shelves
- Conical metal collars allow the height of the shelves to be easily adjusted
- Features heavy-duty wires with strengthening ribs and reinforced shelf edges
- The Shelves slide down the Upright Posts and over the Plastic Shelf
- Clips to lock the shelves into position
- MM-NC-600-1750-5T – MediMesh Nickel/Chrome Wire Shelving Bundle
There are many variations to this product and we can customise to suit!
Our Bariatric product range provides safe workspaces for both clinicians and end users when dealing with larger patients. The equipment is designed to raise and lower the patients to a safer working height for the staff.
SP575.2 – Bariatric Concealment Trolley
- Part Number: SP575.2
- Item: Bariatric Concealment Trolley
- Dimensions: 2100wx900dx670h (Overall Fixed Height – 1050h)
- SP575.2 – Bariatric Concealment Trolley
Weighted Base IV Poles
This is important to provide stability and the risk of IV poles toppling over when used by lowering the centre of gravity. We also design the poles to cater for multiple pumps (ie: ICU poles) instead of the need to have multiple poles, reducing the trip hazards and the ease of movement of a single unit.
SS04IWB.4 – IV Pole Internally Weighted Base
- Part Number: SS04IWB.4
- Item: IV Pole Internally Weighted Base
- Dimensions: 530w x 530d x (1440-2100)h
- SS04IWB.4 – IV Pole Internally Weighted Base