A national inspection campaign aimed at reducing the number of slip, trip and manual handling injuries to hospital workers across Australia will begin tomorrow.
Employment Protection Minister Jon Ford said that the health and community services industry was a key contributor to high levels of slip, trip and manual handling injuries across Australia.
“Nationally, 17,400 compensation claims were made by workers in the health and community services industry during 2004-05,” Mr Ford said.
“The majority of injuries sustained by these workers were caused by muscular stress due to manual handling or repetitive movement or falls and trips.”
The ‘Safe Steps - National Intervention and Compliance Campaign’ focuses on helping to raise awareness of slip, trip and manual handling risks among non-clinical workers in hospitals.
The campaign has been developed by occupational safety and health authorities across Australia and will involve inspectors visiting hospitals nationally, focusing on the control of manual handling and slip and trip risks and providing practical guidance and information.
It is aimed at non-clinical hospital employees such as workers performing kitchen, laundry and clinical sterilisation duties.
The campaign will run from April to June, with results expected by the end of the year.
“The types of injuries being looked at by this inspection campaign are unfortunately extremely common, and it is important that they are reduced,” Mr Ford said.
“Both manual handling and slips and trips are WorkSafe operational priority areas, and a large amount of time and resources are dedicated to reducing the resultant injuries.
“These national projects are excellent examples of co-operation between the States and in the end, everybody gains from a higher level of awareness of workplace hazards and how to avoid injuries, particularly manual handling and slip and trip injuries which can be serious and long-standing.”
Further information on slips and trips and manual handling can be obtained by telephoning WorkSafe on 9327 8777 or visiting http://www.worksafe.wa.gov.au
Information on the Safe Steps campaign can be found on the Heads of Workplace Safety Authorities’ website at http://www.hwsa.org.au
Minister's office - 9213 7200