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Type: Thesis
Title: An Evaluation of the Risk Identification Checklist from the Manual Handling Code of Practice
Author: Boucaut, Rosetta Anne
Issue Date: 1992
School/Discipline: School of Public Health
Abstract: Manual Handling Regulations and a Code of Practice which were introduced in South Australia in January 1991, are aimed at reducing the frequency and severity of manual handling injuries sustained at work. The Code of Practice is a practical guide for employers to follow in order to comply with the Regulations, and consists of three phases: risk identification, risk assessment and risk control. The risk identification procedure involves three stages: a review of the manual handling injury statistics to determine manual handling injuries which have occurred at the workplace, consultation with employees to determine their perceptions of manual handling hazards at the workplace, and the evaluation of manual handling hazards (identified in the two preceding processes) using a Risk Identification Checklist. The Checklist is comprised of 18 questions about manual handling risk factors and is designed so that the higher the score is for a task the higher is its priority for risk assessment and control. This thesis examined the validity of the Risk Identification Checklist as a predictor of the risk of manual handling injuries by applying it to tasks performed by firefighters employed at the South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service (SAMFS). The study involved the following distinct stages: first, a review of the SAMFS injury statistics was undertaken to identify the tasks giving rise to manual handling injuries, and to categorise them according to their frequency and severity. Secondly, a manual handling questionnaire, based on the National Skills Audit of firefighter duties, was designed and administered to a representative sample of 125 SAMFS firefighters. From this, the manual handling tasks were graded according to the risk of injury as perceived by the firefighters. Thirdly, a video was produced of 23 manual handling firefighter tasks. The tasks selected for the film included tasks of a range of injury frequency and severity according to SAMFS injury statistics and of a range of hazard ratings according to the firefighters. Fourthly, the 23 manual handling tasks were shown and subsequently scored by a panel of 15 occupational health professionals using the Risk Identification Checklist. Panel members were blinded to the injury frequency, severity and firefighter hazard ranking of the tasks viewed on the video. Checklist scores for each of the tasks were obtained from each of the 15 panel members. Finally, performance of the Checklist was examined in the following ways. Intra-rater reliability was assessed by comparing the ratings of the same panellist on two separate viewings of the video. Inter-rater agreement of Checklist scores was assessed by examining the range of Checklist scores given by each of the panel members for each individual task. Subsequently, comparisons of Checklist scores were made with both the SAMFS manual handling injury statistics and the SAMFS firefighter perceptions of manual handling hazards. Results showed there was high intra-rater reliability between test/re-test gross scores (Spearman correlation coefficients ranged from 0.83 to 0.88), that is, the three panel members were consistent in their hazard ranking in separate viewings of the tasks. However although the panel members had a highly correlated rank order of the tasks, the manner in which two panellists arrived at the total score was inconsistent between viewings, that is, the 18 individual questions in the Checklist were answered differently. The inter-rater agreement of the 15 panellists was low as shown by a wide range of Checklist scores for each task. The Friedman non-parametric analysis of variance showed no significant agreement between the panel members' scores (p<0.001). There was low correlation between Checklist scores and injury frequency for the panellists as a group (Spearman correlation coefficient 0.17) and for the individual panellists (Spearman correlation coefficients ranged from -0.04 to 0.38). The majority of the panel did differentiate the tasks on the basis of severity, but the difference in the medians given to the "severe" and the "non-severe" tasks was not statistically significant for any member of the panel. The correlation of the firefighters' risk perception of the manual handling tasks and injury statistics was low both for injury frequency and for injury severity (Spearman correlation coefficients 0. 3 5 and 0 .19, respectively). · There was high correlation between the firefighters' perception of hazards and the manual handling Checklist scores (Spearman correlation coefficient 0. 76). The performance of the Risk Identification Checklist from the Manual Handling Code of Practice has been assessed and has been shown to perform poorly at the SAMFS. It is concluded that neither the use of the Risk Identification Checklist nor employees perceptions of risk as proposed in the Manual Handling Code of Practice are valid predictors of manual handling injuries. It is proposed that priorities for manual \ handling risk assessment and control should be determined from analysis of injury statistics, if the frequency and severity of manual handling injuries are to be reduced.
Advisor: Ryan, P
Gun, R
Dissertation Note: Thesis (MPubHlth) -- University of Adelaide, School of Public Health, 1992
Provenance: This electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exceptions. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at:
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