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Safeguard OSH Solutions - Thomson Reuters

Safeguard OSH Solutions - Thomson Reuters

Alert24 - Safeguard Update

Movers and shakers

Movers and shakers
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New Zealand

Does training in manual handling actually work? This long-debated topic was addressed by Emeritus Professor David Thomas at the Moving and Handling Association of NZ conference in Auckland in March, presented with the Australian Association for the Manual Handling of People.

The conference marked the launch of Moving and Handling People: the New Zealand Guidelines, and as head of the panel which wrote them he said it was an interesting and valuable experience to get multiple perspectives during the public consultation phase.

A number of academic studies in recent years, said Thomas, had suggested manual handling training was ineffective in reducing injuries. However he disputed these findings because they looked at manual handling techniques too much in isolation, and in many cases neglected to even describe the nature of the intervention.

Randomised controlled trials, he said, were often unrealistic for complex interventions such as manual handling. "This is why the literature has got it so wrong, in my view. It doesn't make sense to do studies of training in isolation."

To advocate further randomised controlled trials of individual training techniques, as some academics did, was therefore "going up a blind alley", he said.

Manual handling training can be effective, he said, provided a programme consisted of three core elements: demonstration of the desired technique, practice of the technique, and support in the workplace.

Thomas said pre- and post-observation studies conducted in hospitals had provided solid evidence that programmes which contained these three core elements did reduce injury rates. "Training is essential, but only training which includes hands-on is effective."

People Mentioned:
David Thomas
Organisations Mentioned:
Moving and Handling Association of NZ
Reference No:

From Alert24 - Safeguard Update

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