MANUAL HANDLING definition in Legislation
A hazardous manual task, as defined in the WHS Regulations, means a task that requires a person to lift, lower, push, pull, carry or otherwise move, hold or restrain any person, animal, mechanical plant and equipment or thing involving one or more of the following:
· Repetitive or sustained force
· High or sudden (impact) force
· Repetitive movement
· Sustained or awkward posture
· Exposure to vibration.
These factors (known as characteristics of a hazardous manual task) directly stress the body and can lead to injuries of the Musculoskeletalsystem.
A resultant Musculo-Skeletal Disorder (MSD), as defined in the WHS Regulations, means an injury to, or a disease of, the musculoskeletal system, whether occurring suddenly or over time. It does not include an injury caused by crushing, entrapment (such as fractures and dislocations) or cutting resulting from the mechanical operation of plant. These direct injuries that can be seen, identified immediately and correct use of this system would have negated these injuries.
MSDs may include conditions 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 (e.g. carpal tunnel syndrome, or compressed spine)
muscular and vascular disorders as a result of hand-arm vibration
soft tissue hernias
MSDs occur in two ways:
Gradual wear and tear to joints, ligaments, muscles and inter-vertebral discs caused by repeated or continuous use of the same body parts, including static body position.
Sudden damage caused by strenuous activity, or unexpected movements such as when loads being handled move or change position or direction suddenly.
Injuries can also occur due to a combination of these mechanisms for example; body tissue that has been weekened by cumulative damage may be vunerable to sudden injury by lower or lesser forces.