Study to help reduce defence injuries

By
Saturday, 21 February, 2004


Preventing injuries in Australian Defence Force personnel will be the focus of a new study announced by Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence, Danna Vale.

The study, to cost $2.5 million in total, will be conducted by a consortium led by the University of Ballarat and will examine the ergonomic, human performance and physical capacity requirements of Army's Rifleman and Air Force's Airfield Defence Guard employment categories. "Heavy physical demands are placed on all Defence personnel, but particularly those employed in the Combat Arms," Vale said. "The Australian Government and Defence are committed to providing a safe working environment for our Defence personnel.

"By preventing injuries, we not only protect our personnel, but also maintain combat capability and reduce the ongoing costs of separation due to injury, retraining personnel, health care and compensation. This study will look at the day-to-day tasks, fitness and strength requirements and hazards for those personnel.

"The research team will use that data to develop Physical Employment Standards which will inform decisions on employment category selection, training and injury prevention and will help manage occupational health and safety." Vale said the study would not consider whether or not direct combat roles should be open to women.

The Physical Employment Standards study is expected to take two years to complete. The consortium also includes researchers from Victoria University, the University of New South Wales, Monash University and the University of Sydney.

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