Returning to Work in the Construction Industry in 2011

Are You Returning to Work in the Construction Industry in 2011?

Here is an interesting article we found on the QLD Government website.

It is useful for those in the construction industry to have a read, whilst they are getting back into the swing of things and returning back to work.

This article gives OHS advice about returning to physically demanding jobs and how to prevent injuries occurring.

“The Christmas and New Year period is traditionally a time to rest, relax and spend time with friends and family. If you’ve enjoyed a well-deserved break over the holiday period, indulged in the finer things in life or spent time lounging around, then returning to work may be a shock to your body, particularly if your work is physically demanding.

Physical fitness can decline in as little as three weeks if normal activity level is not maintained. This means that muscle strength, endurance and flexibility, built up on the job over time, may start to diminish the longer you are away from normal work tasks. When fitness lapses, there is greater risk of injury, especially sprain and strain injuries.

Employers should ensure workers adapt and re-develop job fitness following holidays, illness or during rehabilitation. The same principles apply to workers new to a job.

Production targets set for new and returning workers during the first few weeks should not be as high as those set for experienced workers and those who have not had time off work. Easing back into physically demanding work with an initially reduced pace, intensity and duration, allows workers time to condition themselves to physical and mental work demands.

The best way to reduce the risk of sprain and strain injury in the workplace and to help transition those returning to work after periods of rest or illness is to have effective manual tasks risk management plans in place.

Physically demanding manual tasks and their associated risks can be eliminated or minimised through controls such as:

  • Job design – changes to the workstation, redesign of equipment or the way the job is done, for example, providing work benches to reduce the amount of reaching, bending and twisting, providing adequate space or placing loads close to where work is being done; and
  • Mechanical aids – the use of mechanical aids and assistive devices to reduce the effort required in work tasks, for example, using cranes or telehandlers to move material around a site.

After time off, both employers and workers should also consider the use of design controls during the transitional period to prevent sprain and strain injury in the workplace.”

LMIT provides the Certificate IV in OHS and the Diploma in OHS online, so get up-skilled today!

This article can be found on the QLD Government website via this link here:

http://www.deir.qld.gov.au/workplace/publications/safe/construction/jan11/industry-2011/index.htm

Published by: LMIT

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