Accessing storage rooms that have become junk rooms can create all sorts of hazards, especially when moving items out of the way to get to what you are after.
- Use aids to lift heavy items.
- Keep storage rooms neat and tidy.
- Avoid twisting.
- Musculoskeletal disorders
Identified hazards and controls
- Muscle strains from twisting, bending, and over-reaching.
- Carrying items that are too heavy.
- Sudden movements or unstable loads, such as the bottom falling out of an archive box when lifted.
What workers can do
- Know your personal capacity to lift objects. This will vary among people.
- Avoid lifting items above your head and use equipment provided to avoid or reduce manual handling and awkward postures. For example, get a step ladder so you can get to the height you need to be.
- Bend legs at the knees and keep the weight close to your centre of gravity when lifting.
- Undertake training in the use of any equipment provided and follow relevant procedures.
- Seek guidance from your supervisor before lifting for heavy or bulky items.
What employers can do
- Provide equipment, such as trolleys and moving devices, to move heavy boxes long distances.
- Provide a trolley that adapts to the weight - as weight is removed, the floor of the trolley raises to ensure the user doesn’t need to bend down low to reach items.
- Ensure there are instructions on appropriate load weights and other relevant procedures.
- Provide supervision including regular checks to see if procedures are being followed.
- See Ergonomic hazards for more information on physical factors in the environment that may cause musculoskeletal injuries and how to eliminate these hazards.
- Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011 – Refer part 3.2 General Workplace Management and part 4.2 Hazardous Manual Tasks.