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Manual tasks refers to any activity or sequence of activities that requires a person to use their physical body (musculoskeletal system) to perform work including:
The main health problems that can arise as a result of performing manual tasks are musculoskeletal disorders such as sprains and strains. There are many duty holders that have responsibilities under various aspects of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) and the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations (Regs). The important systems which all organisations should have in place include those to prevent and respond to incidents related to this hazard.
Most jobs require several types of manual tasks to be performed. However, not all manual tasks are hazardous. The most common health problems that can arise from manual tasks that are hazardous are musculoskeletal disorders (such as back pain and upper limb disorders) and hernias. Other injuries that can be arise while performing manual tasks include slips, trips and falls, hitting into objects and being hit or crushed.
A musculoskeletal disorder is an injury or disease of the musculoskeletal system. Musculoskeletal disorders may arise in whole or in part from performing manual tasks in the workplace, whether occurring suddenly or over a prolonged period of time.
Musculoskeletal disorders include body-stressing injuries (as classified in the worker’s compensation code system) and conditions such as:
Musculoskeletal disorders may result from: