Mandurah PErforM-ing safely

Risk Matters - Autumn 2022

The City of Mandurah is transforming their safety culture through the PErforM program.

The purpose of PErforM (Participative Ergonomics for Manual tasks) is to involve workers in improving their workplaces to reduce injury and increase productivity.

It is:
1. A simplified manual task risk management program
2. Based on participative approach
3. Internationally recommended

Participative ergonomics is an approach which utilises the workers’ knowledge of their own tasks by involving them in the process of identifying issues and coming up with solutions – and therefore improving their

Other sections in this season's Risk Matters

What is a manual task?

Any activity requiring a person to use their musculoskeletal system in performing work, a manual task usually involves:

  • Manual handling (the use of force to lift, lower, push, pull, carry or otherwise move, hold or restrain a person, animal or thing)
  • Performing repetitive actions
  • Adopting awkward or sustained postures
  • Using plant, tools or equipment that expose workers to vibration

Injuries from manual tasks can often result in musculoskeletal disorders – injuries of the muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, joints, cartilage, or spinal discs – which result in time away from work and workers’ compensation claims.

Worker participation, management commitment and support, and a site champion are critical to the program’s long-term success.
Depending on the complexity of the task being assessed, you may also include people such as engineers, suppliers, designers, and
ergonomists if necessary. It is important other stakeholders are identified and involved at the outset.

Elements of the PErforM program

In 2021, The City of Mandurah engaged LGIS to facilitate the PErforM program for their Mandurah Aquatic Recreation Centre (MARC). Due to the various roles within the MARC, each department created a small champion group who represented their department in the
MARC PErforM focus group. The focus group consisted of the MARC coordinator, OSH coordinator, nine supervisors/team leaders and six workers.

The program consisted of:

  1. Overview, planning and strategic rollout of the program to MARC focus group.
  2. PErforM session #1: Introduce manual task risk assessment and facilitate competency to complete risk assessments. Task focus group with assessing all manual tasks prior to the next session.
  3. PErforM session #2: Review and discuss completed manual task risk assessments and start prioritising into highest risk manual tasks.
    a. Following ranking process, the sources of risk are discussed in a group activity to match these with the high-risk tasks assessed.
    b. Discussion of suitable controls and implementation processes, with assigned tasks and follow up meetings booked.
  4. PErforM session #3: Discussion driven by outcomes, potential control ideas and evaluation. Up to date progress on each of the assessed tasks was provided by the assigned people for each control. At this stage, further controls can be discussed for any introduced risks.

After the initial training the PErforM has been easily imbedded into the MARC Team as a whole.

Some examples of improvements have been:

✓ Stadium curtain nets adjusted so that they all go to one end of the court
✓ New tie backs for the stadium curtains so that they can be stored safely
✓ New nappy change table trolley for creche
✓ Change in procedure of washing creche toys
✓ All trolleys adjusted and trolley wheels changed
✓ Show court portable seating change in putting out and packing away procedures
✓ Netball posts at Halls Head Recreation Center changed for lighter poles
✓ Change in procedure for moving large blue crash mat
✓ Various trolleys built for purpose

For more information on how LGIS can provide risk advice to your local government, please contact the LGIS risk management team on 9483 8868, or your regional risk coordinator.

Share on Twitter
Share on LinkedIn

Other sections of this season's Risk Matters