Manual Materials Handling Safety Update

Sprains and strains were identified as the leading form of injury suffered by workers across all industries in Oz last year. Although these injuries are usually not debilitating, they can get worse over time especially if they aren’t dealt with. Ultimately the best case scenario would be to avoid these injuries altogether which is why workers in industries where manual handling is an aspect of work should be properly trained including those engaged in roofing.

Prevention is better than cure, especially when it comes to musculoskeletal injuries, so properly manually carrying loads is crucial. Here is some of the safety guidelines that workers involved in roofing work should keep in mind when carrying loads particularly from the ground to the roof,

  • When working on a ladder, ensure that you are abiding by the safety rules and are doing so in the manner you have been trained, this includes avoiding the carrying of loads when climbing up or descending the ladder.
  • When carrying larger loads, if there is no forklift to help do the job, consider a rope or pulley system to transport the load from the ground to the roof.
  • When lifting the load from the ground to the roof, use a supply bucket that is made of metal and has tight seams.
  • People should never be allowed to stand, walk or work under suspended loads.
  • The bucket should not be overloaded and shouldn’t be filled all the way to the top.
  • When using ropes for hoisting loads, before use, inspect ropes for broken fibres, mildew, burns and cuts. Substandard ropes should be replaced immediately.
  • A counterweight should be used in a contained or secure place to eliminate hazards.
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of the appropriate PPE. When working on roofs or roof decks, workers must wear a closed shirt that covers their upper body, arms, and other wrists. Their pants must extend over the tops of their shoes.
  • While working to lift loads manually, avoid the use of jewellery and loose clothing.
  • Ensure that guidelines are adhered to when erecting guardrails, toe-boards and all other fall protection tools.
  • Beware of falling objects. Hence objects like equipment, material and debris shouldn’t be stored near the roof edge unless there have been guardrails installed.


Importance of Training:

We should never underestimate the importance of training, especially in an industry as high risk as construction. The construction industry and related trades have been identified as the third most dangerous in Oz, so the thought of anyone entering this industry without the necessary training besides being against the law, is stupid.

Although it makes common sense for all construction workers to receive training on health and safety, the federal government has made this training compulsory for anyone engaging in construction work.

According to federal health and safety law, everyone involved in construction must complete White Card training and receive their White Card accreditation as proof that they know how to work safely on a construction site.