The CWU national office has told Post manually unloading and loading parcels from ULDs into other ULDs for a whole shift is not on following complaints by CWU members at the Townsville Mail Centre, Qld.
Currently full-time employees are manually unloading and loading parcels from ULDs into other ULDs and/or bags for small parcels for their whole shift.
Poor manual handling practices like this is one of the most common hazards confronted by people in AP workplaces. The injuries that occur are often disabling, long term and costly. The effects of these injuries often become more disabling as workers become older.
We know from the application of the NIOSH method for assessment of manual handling risks on the Large Parcel Sorting System at MPF and SPF that work rotation and equipment, such as height adjustable trolleys, are required to reduce manual handling risks.
As OCR and CFC and hand stamping work is performed during these shifts by part-time employees, it would seem feasible to change the lifting work of the full-time employees from a long almost eight hours a day of lifting to a more moderate duration.
The effect of changing the lifting time would be considerable in terms of reducing manual handling risks. As well Post should immediately purchase height adjustable trolleys.
The local CWU delegate has raised these issues with management in the local JCC. Management has asked the delegate to draw up an alternative roster for their consideration.
There are potentially a lot of mail centres and other work locations where work practices would not measure up well against the NIOSH method. We have asked Post to conduct a review to identify other work locations with similar work practices as those at Townsville Mail Centre.