Order picking is the important
job of preparing packs of different goods for individual outlets
or manufacturers from a central warehouse.
All the items on supermarket shelves
are picked by people at distribution centres and warehouses.
It is not uncommon for a person to pick more than ten tonnes
of boxes and packages each day.
Order picking is a dangerous occupation
because it can be physically demanding and the demand is repeated
constantly. Over 280 claims from manual order picking injuries
in the warehousing sector occur in Victoria each year, with
the cost of these around $11.5 million. But these figures are
only the tip of the iceberg as they do not include self insurers.
Given the size of the problem and
the nature of the risk, WorkSafe Victoria is determined to help
reduce accidents and give clarity around the general principles
of manual order picking and the work practices, workplace layout
and equipment employers need, to comply with WorkSafe's requirements.
These requirements apply equally to employees, temporary staff
and labour hire personnel.
Guide To Manual Order Picking
WorkSafe Victoria has produced
"A Guide to Manual
Order Picking" which
shows WorkSafe's expectations and gives industry some 'lines
in the sand', in terms of WorkSafe's expectations of organisations
to ensure order picking is done safely. The Guide was developed
in collaboration with representatives from industry associations,
unions, employers, employees and employee organisations, suppliers,
labour hire companies, safety inspectors, ergonomists and health
and safety representatives.
The emphasis in the Guide is on
minimising lifting anything above shoulders or below knees and
that only low weight objects, or infrequently picked objects,
are lifted from these places.
Two information packs, one for
employers and one for employees, particularly health and safety
representatives, were distributed to over 3000 recipients in
April 2004. Both contained the Guide to Manual Order Picking
as the core, but each included additional information aimed
at meeting the specific needs of employers and employees in
These packs are no longer available,
but copies of the Guide are available free of charge by emailing
or telephoning 1800 136 089.
On the right hand side of this
page we have provided links to additional resources. These are:
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