The new ergonomic legislation requires employees in summary to:

  1. Perform ergonomic risk assessments of all jobs that may pose an ergonomic risk to staff before the commencement of work, by a competent person. From this assessment, a hierarchy of ergonomic risks must be drawn up to be attended to as well as the plan to manage these risks according to the hierarchy of controls. These assessments must be repeated at least every 2 years; or earlier in the event of an incident or injury, if the controls in place are failing or are outdated or if the work process or environment has changed.
  2. All employees must be trained on the new legislation, the current ergonomic risks in their workplace and the affects this could have on their health. The training also needs to include information on the current control measures in place and the steps staff need to take to report any further ergonomic hazards. It should also cover the importance of medical surveillance and ergonomic risk assessments in controlling these risks.  
  3. Refresher training must occur at intervals determined by the health and safety department.
  4. All personnel who are deemed to be exposed to high ergonomic risks must be placed under medical surveillance which needs to commence within 30 days of employment and is monitored no less than every 2 years. An exit medical examination is required for all staff leaving employment who were undergoing medical surveillance.
  5. Records must be kept for a minimum of 40 years.
  6. Employees themselves are compelled by the legislation to comply with any instruction given by their employer or employer’s representative regarding actions to follow pertaining to ergonomic risks and their control. They are also required to report any ergonomic risks to their employer, attend any medical surveillance deemed necessary, to attend and comply with all ergonomic related training and to assist in the ergonomic risk assessments as required by the competent person.

To read the full draft of the legislation click on the link below.


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