The State Government is to make another attempt to reduce the incidence of manual handling injuries in the workplace.
Productivity and Labour Relations Minister Yvonne Henderson said she would re-introduce national standard regulations which were disallowed by the Legislative Council a year ago.
The regulations, to be proclaimed tomorrow, would bring Western Australia into line with all but one other State in adopting the national standard for manual handling.
"Manual handling injuries, mainly sprains and strains, still account for the greatest number of workplace injuries in this State," Mrs Henderson said.
"More than 9,000 Western Australian workers suffer manual handling injuries each year.
"The cost in workers' compensation premiums is approximately $100 million.
"Yet the Legislative Council blocked our effort to bring in the national standard last year."
Mrs Henderson said the new regulations had been changed to reflect the Legislative Council's concerns that they were too specific.
"They are now less specific, giving individual employers greater flexibility to comply with their requirements," she said.
"They require employers to identify and assess any manual handling task that may put workers at risk of injury and to take practical steps to control that risk.
"They require employers to provide adequate training and supervision and to consult with employees on the actions to be taken."
Mrs Henderson said she had been concerned at the cost and the suffering caused to thousands of workers and their families due to manual handling injuries.
In all other areas of occupational injury and disease had been reduced by 14.7 per cent over the past three years, bettering the Government's target of a 10 per cent reduction by next year.
Manual handling injuries accounted for 27 per cent of lost time injuries last year, up two per cent from 1989.