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Department of Education
Creating Healthier Workplaces > Health and Safety > Hazards and Risks >

Manual tasks and ergonomics

Manual tasks can contribute to a range of musculoskeletal disorders (injuries) including:

These types of injuries are often cumulative with damage occurring over a period of time before pain or injury is apparent.

Some work activities may present additional hazards that can also overload the body and lead to injury. These tasks are known as hazardous manual tasks and require specific management strategies. A hazardous manual task involves one or more of the following factors:

Encourage staff to report problems with manual tasks and signs of discomfort immediately so that risks can be managed before an injury occurs.

Risk management resources specific to manual tasks are available on this page.

Hazardous manual task resources

Hazardous Manual Tasks (HMT) Safety Operating Procedures

The following generic Safe Operating Procedures (SOPs) provide information on how to address risks related to identified hazardous manual tasks in department work environments. Ensure you modify the content to reflect any local circumstances related to your task and equipment before you implement them.


Grounds and facilities

Teaching support


The health and wellbeing of students is a priority for the department. Carrying heavy school bags is a concern for some students and families. This document discusses what students may experience and what we can do to reduce the risks.

Student moving and handling task resources

Office and computer workstation resources

Slips, trips and falls resources

Legislation and other links

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This page was last reviewed on 13 Jun 2018

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