Bush regeneration is physical work and can be tough on the body. Back injuries are common. Make sure that you are capable of the work before you begin. Is all that bending, lifting, levering, sawing and carrying going to be too much?
Can you do exercises to strengthen your core? Will it help to do warm ups and stretches before work? Can you manage your work load to reduce the risk of damage? Would talking to a doctor, physiotherapist, osteopath, etc help to prevent injury before it happens?
Some general advice on managing work to reduce the likelihood of problems is;
- perform a variety of work tasks during the day
- alternate between tasks wherever possible
- perform movements smoothly in a comfortable balanced posture with minimal bending, twisting and over reaching
- take regular breaks from repetitive tasks
- position tools and equipment to allow work to be done in a comfortable position
- if you have to keep reaching for something move it closer
- provide adequate space so you are not working in a cramped position
- be aware when working in areas that are uneven, wet, steep or slippery
- wear proper clothing and footwear (personal protective equipment) eg non-slip shoes.
- if an activity concerns you, tell your supervisor so that they can see if the activity can be done differently.
hold loads close to the body
don’t lift, push or pull anything too heavy – break the load down into smaller lots. Half fill a bag rather than load it up
don’t lift heavy items while you’re sitting down.
position yourself before lifting. Twisting and bending at the same time is particularly risky.
try to store heavy items near waist height eg drums of herbicide
- position backpack sprayers on a raised area eg back of a ute, when putting them on to reduce lifting and twisting. Only part fill them if they are heavy to lift and maneouvre easily and safely.