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QLD Government logoCSR Ltd provides building products for residential and commercial construction across Australia and New Zealand. CSR’s work health  and safety (WHS) and workers’ compensation data showed that  musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) were  a priority area. They found there  was a high number of manual task related injuries  and there  were  gaps in their  work health  and safety management systems in relation to the assessment and control of hazardous manual  tasks.

CSR developed the manual  handling initiative to reduce MSDs caused  by hazardous manual  tasks. CSR management knew that  strong leadership was critical to making positive change. By making a visible  commitment to address  the issue, CSR was able to achieve  significant reductions in reportable MSDs across the organisation within 18 months of rolling ou the initiative.

CSR was pleased  to report:

  • a 65 per cent  reduction in their  recordable manual  handling related injuries
  • over  100 controls for hazardous manual  tasks had been put in place, including redesign and engineering controls, and
  • more  than 350 workers received training in hazardous manual  tasks risk management and have become manual handling “champions”. They keep the message  alive and continually drive  improvement to reduce manual  handling injury  risks.

Benefits for CSR from this initiative include:

  • significant reductions in the numbers of workers being injured
  • significant reductions in workers’ compensation claims and claims costs, and
  • a 38 per cent  reduction in manual  handling workers’ compensation claims costs.

The manual  handling initiative has also been a primary driver in empowering everyone to make a difference to their  own  safety at work and go home  to the things that really matter.

So how  did they do it?

CSR started by setting some key performance indicators and targets:

  • They developed specific annual targets for the reduction of MSDs. These targets are in the work health  and safety plans for all business units and site managers are accountable for meeting them. The CEO receives  quarterly reports about the progress of the manual  handling initiative and manual handling issues are a standing agenda  item for management meetings.

Next, they  implemented an innovative manual  handling initiative:

  • The work health  and safety advisor developed the participative ergonomics based manual  handling initiative. CSR believes  that a participative management style is integral to a positive safety climate.
  • Management supported all phases of the initiative including the development of risk assessment resources, engaging with workers and the onsite trials.

They communicated and engaged with workers across the organisation and supply chain partners:

  • Workers at all levels of the organisation have contributed to improving CSR’s performance and decreasing MSDs.
  • CSR recognises that  workers identify the best solutions and management’s role is to provide the resources and support to progress their implementation.
  • Regular  communication across CSR helps maintain interest in the manual  handling initiative and assists site managers overcome any potential barriers.
  • Managers  take safety walks onsite and chat  with workers about manual  handling issues and solutions.
  • The manual  handling initiative is included in monthly safety reports and management meetings.
  • Solutions for hazardous manual  tasks are promoted across the organisation, people share what  they  have learned, and updates on the project are published in internal CSR staff publications.
  • CSR recognised the opportunity to extend their improvements to incorporate the work methods of their  supply chain partners and have engaged with them  to develop further solutions.

Importantly, they  provided the resources needed:

  • CSR allocated non-production hours  to allow  workers to contribute to the project. This included time to attend training, participate in risk assessments and develop risk control ideas.
  • Management allocated resources and funding for a range  of risk controls ranging from in-house fixes to long  term capital expenditure items.

And  they  recognised achievement and outcomes:

  • Reward and recognition promotes a positive prevention culture and demonstrates high quality safety leadership practices. Workers who  have had good risk management outcomes are recognised through internal safety awards.
  • One site recently won  the prestigious CSR Values Award for Safety for their  focus on manual  handling and implementation of many  manual  handling controls.
  • CSR promotes ‘good news stories’ across the organisation in relation to the manual  handling initiative.

Developing a learning culture around safety innovation is recognised as an important contributor to a positive safety culture within CSR. When  people feel safe at work, they  are more  likely to be satisfied with their  jobs, contribute more  to workplace initiatives and become more  productive.

CSR is incorporating the learnings and strategies from the manual  handling initiative into  broader WHS risk management processes and they  are targeting other WHS areas in need of improvement.

For further information visit the Workplace HealthandSafety Queensland website or call 1300 369 915.

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Last modified on Wednesday 8 March 2017 [1831|21571]