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Manual handling continues to cause significant numbers of injuries for workers in the paper, corrugated and recovered paper industries. Although it is unlikely that manual handling injuries will result in a fatality, for those affected the pain, suffering and sometimes debilitating effects of these injuries should not be underestimated.
Manual handling tasks are common including tasks such as moving paper/bales/stacks of board, removing broke, manoeuvring machinery parts, feeding the web and feed board into conversion machinery. In industry it is not necessarily the weight of the product that can be an issue when carrying out manual handling (such as with large reels of paper) it can also be the size and shape of the materials being handled that make it difficult and hazardous.
The costs to business once a manual handling injury has happened can be significant. In addition to the obvious costs such as civil claims for damages, there are often significant hidden costs arising from production delays, investigation costs, overtime working, loss of experience, clerical and supervisors’ time, hiring and training of replacement staff and even loss of goodwill and of corporate image.