26 September 2023

New WorkSafe plan to beat pains in the neck

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WorkSafe ACT has put its weight behind a new strategy to reduce incidents of back and neck pain and other musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) amongst the Territory’s workforce.

Launching the Strategy to Prevent Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders 2022-2024, Work Health and Safety Commissioner Jacqueline Agius said most workers were familiar with aches and pains associated with sitting or standing for long periods, repetitive work, physical tasks such as heavy lifting, or working in an enclosed space.

“While these activities are often dismissed, they can cause severe and long-term issues for a worker’s health,” Commissioner Agius said.

“The workers most likely to suffer from MSDs are some of the most important workers in the ACT,” she said, “over half of MSD-related workers’ compensation claims are from the Construction, Healthcare and Retail industries.”

“Through implementing the Strategy, WorkSafe ACT aims to reduce the incidence rate of claims for musculoskeletal disorders resulting in one or more weeks off work by at least 30 per cent.”

Commissioner Agius emphasised the need to prevent MSDs for safe, healthy, and productive working lives.

She said work-related MSDs often involved a complex interaction between a number of risk factors, including physical factors such as adverse postures, repetitive tasks and heavy lifting; psychosocial factors such as low control/demand, low supervisor support and low recognition; and organisational factors such as high workloads and night shifts.

“Our Strategy aims to educate all workers and employers to prevent these painful and serious conditions,” the Work Health and Safety Commissioner said.

“Our target is ambitious but achievable,” she said.

“All workplace injuries are avoidable.”

WorkSafe’s nine-page work related strategy can be accessed at this PS News link.

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