Manual materials handling on a construction project

Manual materials handling on a construction project


[TITLE: Manual materials handling on a construction project] Kevin Gillespie: My name’s Kevin Gillespie.
I’m the regional ergonomist for the Ontario Ministry of Labour’s eastern region. Banner: “University of Waterloo, Ergonomics
Lab” Kevin: An ergonomist is a person that focuses
on matching the demands of the job to the physical capabilities of the individual. Ed Wilson: My name’s Ed Wilson. I’m a Ministry
of Labour Inspector in the central region. Today, we’re at the LIUNA Local 183 Training
Centre in Vaughan. We’ll be showing you some things that Ministry of Labour Inspectors
and Ergonomists look for on a construction project, regarding manual materials handling. “And how many workers do you have here today?”
“Eighteen.” “Do you usually have that many?”
“Usually…” Kevin: Manual materials handling is lifting,
lowering, pushing, pulling, carrying, or holding of an object. “Kevin Gillespie. Regional Ergonomist with
the Ministry of Labour.” Ed: Typically, I would visit a site alone
but sometimes I have an Ergonomist come with me if there’s MSD hazards. Kevin: Musculoskeletal disorders, or MSDs,
are injuries to the musculoskeletal system such as bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments
and other soft tissues. The key risk factors that could cause a musculoskeletal disorder
are force repetition and posture. Musculoskeletal disorders are the most common
type of injury in workplaces, accounting for over 40 percent of all lost-time injury claims
in Ontario workplaces. “So Mike, do you have a notice of project
for this job?” Ed: My inspection typically begins with an
administrative review. I would ask for the site supervisor and the health and safety
rep. I’d be looking for policies and procedures regarding manual materials handling. “And are you tracking your musculoskeletal
disorders due to manual material handling?” Kevin: We look at injury records for the company
and training that has been done for workers to address the hazards. We’ll look for risk
assessments that have been performed and control measures that are put in place to avoid those
hazards. Ed: We would then do a physical walk-through
of the construction project, looking for any manual material handling concerns. Kevin: We’ll look for proper lifting techniques
and how material is being handled by workers, access and egress into the worksite. Also
we would be looking for evidence that regular maintenance is being conducted on equipment. We would look for where material is obtained
from and placed to, how frequently it is handled, how close it is possible to keep it to the
body or away from the body, depending on the size and shape of the object and the weight
of the object handled. Ed: Having your work positioned at a more
reasonable height puts less stress on the body. It’s important that there are no obstructions
so that workers have an easy access from one point to another, so there are no fall hazards
and no trip hazards. “So who’s using the ladder today?” “Electricians.” “Do you know if they’ve had safe ladder access
training?” Ed: Workers should ensure that they use three-point
contact when ascending and descending a ladder and they should also follow the best practices
in the construction industry ladder use guideline. “Have all those trades had safe lift training?”
“Yes.” Kevin: Some of the reasonable precautions
that workplace parties can take to protect workers from musculoskeletal disorders are
performing risk assessments and putting in place control measures and providing training
to workers. Ed: Some options that workers can use when
lifting or moving material are forklifts, carts, dollies, lifting devices and positioning
of the material and equipment. Kevin: Everyone shares a responsibility for
workplace safety. MSDs are preventable. With proper design of the workplace, this type
of injury can be avoided. Ed: For more information on prevention of
MSDs, visit these websites. Kevin: Also you can refer to the musculoskeletal
disorder prevention guideline. [TITLE: Please visit the website for more information
www.ontario.ca/msd www.healthandsafetyontario.ca/Resources/Topics/MSDs.aspx
www.ihsa.ca/pdfs/topics/ladders.pdf

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