Innovation is essential to drive down musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) incidence rates for the construction industry, said John Darcy, OHS Manager, Master Builders Association, speaking at the Safety in Action trade show. MSD incidence rates are on the rise and more workers are ringing us about compensation claims, he added.
As examples, Darcy cited three recent innovations: Dynamic Bracing Solutions’ Lite-Weight Tilt Panel Brace, an innovative brace that reduces the risk of personal injury to construction workers; Microw Developments’ Reo Jack, a purpose-built lever tool designed to take the strain out of lifting reinforcing mesh, used in the concreting industry; and Scafsafe fall protection system.
Microw was nominated for an Award in the category Best Solution for Preventing Musculoskeletal Injuries (MSI). We need more such innovations to reduce incidence rates, he added.
Better efforts need to be made to improve awareness about these types of innovations, said Darcy. We already have industry awards to recognise innovations, but Work Safe could help innovators commercialise the product and reach wider markets.
While recently releasing a report from the National Hazard Exposure Worker Surveillance Survey, Safe Work Australia Chair Tom Phillips AM said work-related, musculoskeletal disorders are one of the eight priority occupational diseases for Australia. “They account for the largest proportion of occupational disease, workers' compensation claims in Australia and result in $361 million in workers compensation payments in Australia annually.”
By Mansi Gandhi