Overview

In this seminar, Professor Sharon Newnam presents findings from the Patient-handling Injuries Review of Systems project, funded by WorkSafe Victoria. The goal of the project is to provide health services with a standardised process for reviewing and revising risk controls following the report of an injury to staff in a hospital or aged care setting. 

Who is this seminar for?

This seminar is useful to PCBUs, WHS consultants, researchers and workers, with a particular focus on applying systems thinking for understanding MSDs. The presentation is focused on health care workers but may be useful across a range of industry settings.

About the presenter

Associate Professor Newnam is the Director of the Systems Safety Team at the Monash University Accident Research Centre.

She has published widely in the area of workplace safety from a systems thinking perspective. She is an associate editor of the leading safety journal, Safety Science.

About Musculoskeletal Disorders 

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are the most common type of work-related injury in Australia, accounting for around half of all workers’ compensation claims. They also have a broader impact on individuals and society, with nearly 7 million Australians self-reporting an MSD in the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ 2017-18 National Health Survey (NHS). The costs of health care and compensation for MSDs, combined with the impacts of loss of income and early retirement pose a significant economic burden.


As Australian workers increasingly delay retirement for economic reasons, workers are exposed for longer periods to workplace hazards – physical and psychosocial – linked with work-related MSDs (WMSDs). WMSDs pose increasing risks as Australia’s population ages, especially for older workers who are more prone to other chronic health conditions. These factors point to the importance of introducing interventions for WMSDs.

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