Our definition of manual handling covers tasks that involve bending, lifting, carrying, pulling, pushing or restraining, as well as operating machinery and exposure to vibration. In particular, hand injuries account for over 50% of recordable injuries at Murrin Murrin, our nickel asset in Western Australia.
In 2014, following a review that highlighted the prevalence of hand and finger injuries among manual handling injuries, Murrin implemented a long-term strategy based on eight fundamental principles. The subsequent manual handling injury prevention initiative focused on:
- Increased training and awareness
- Risk assessment and controls
- Promotion of safe manual handling techniques
- Development of safe manual handling management strategies
- Emphasis on communicating within workgroups throughout the management hierarchy
More than 600 employees and contractors completed the mandatory training. In addition, there were site-wide bulletins, quarterly reports and a manual handling risk register, with risk assessments for all major tasks. We updated our injury register to categorise these types of injury and assist in identifying major risk factors, tasks and affected body parts for each work group.
In 2014 we reduced manual handling injuries to around half the previous year’s level, with a target of a further 30% reduction for 2015, which we achieved.