SafeWork NSW’s Musculoskeletal Disorder Strategy was launched today to reinforce the NSW Government’s commitment to helping workers and business reduce the number and severity of serious work related injuries.

In the three years to July 2016, there were 19,525 major workers compensation claims for musculoskeletal disorders at an average cost of $32,744 each.

SafeWork NSW Executive Director Peter Dunphy said hazardous manual tasks were the most common cause of injury in NSW workplaces, accounting for 29 per cent of all injuries.

“With thousands of workers affected each year, musculoskeletal injuries and related illnesses have a significant impact,” Mr Dunphy said.

The Strategy highlights the impact that musculoskeletal disorders have in the workplace and identifies approaches to reduce their incidence and severity.

There has been extensive consultation with industry stakeholders, who have offered expert advice on the Strategy’s implementation, and undertaken to abide by its recommendations.

The Strategy will focus on industries and occupations at the greatest risk of musculoskeletal disorders, including the supermarket and grocery store sector, state and local government, storepersons, health care and social assistance workers to develop innovative ways to eliminate musculoskeletal injury risks.

“Serious musculoskeletal injuries can occur when a worker performs the same movement repeatedly, works in a sustained or awkward posture or uses high or sudden force to handle objects” Mr Dunphy said.

“These injuries can be painful and have long-term and often costly impacts on businesses and their workers.”

The Strategy was released as part of the SafeWork Work Health and Safety Roadmap 2022 which aims to reduce the incidence of serious musculoskeletal injuries and illnesses.

SafeWork NSW also encourages the use of the PErforM (Participative Ergonomics for Manual Tasks) program.  PErforM is a simple hazardous manual task risk management system, internationally recommended for the reduction of work-related musculoskeletal disorders. SafeWork offers free workshops and practical resources for workers and trainers to implement the program in the workplace.

For more information about musculoskeletal disorders or PErforM workshops, please visit the SafeWork NSW website: call 13 10 50.

Media contact: 0438 108 797

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