The Victorian Farm Safety Centre has begun a new project which aims to help growers identify and control manual handling hazards on vegetable farms.
Picking, planting and packing vegetables involves many repetitive, manual activities which can lead to injuries needing medical treatment or time off work.
Between 2004 and 2009, WorkSafe Victoria received 266 claims from vegetable growers with an average claim cost of $68,000.
Hazardous manual handling is more than heavy lifting and includes repetitive work, awkward body positions, bad postures, vibration, applying force and handling loads that are difficult to hold.
The project aims to first identify the causes and then develop solutions to help reduce the incidence of these injuries.
Andrew Sullivan from the Victorian Farm Safety Centre will be visiting growers with the IDO’s, to better understand manual handling tasks in the vegetable industry and invite growers to participate in the project.
Growers who take part in the project will gain from having a professional ergonomist, assess their manual handling tasks.
The project will provide each grower with information that identifies what is being done well and areas for improvement. This information will be provided at no cost to the grower.
The objective is to identify solutions that are achievable, with little or no cost outlay, that will reduce the risk of workplace injuries.
For more information contact your Industry Development Officers :