Best solution to a workplace health and safety issue - 2011 Awards
CJM Attachments in Swan Hill has solved the OHS problems of dog bite and musculoskeletal injury risk for the rangers at Swan Hill Rural City Council with the development of the K-9 KUBE.
The K-9 KUBE has been 18 months in the development. The innovative hydraulic lifting device enables officers to safely handle a sometimes vicious, often heavy and agitated animal,then contain and load them at ground level before being lifted onto a transport vehicle without stress on the animal or the operator/handler.
The K-9 KUBE has greatly changed the way the local laws department operates. It has given the local laws unit a greater level of operational flexibility and safety. Previously animal management officers were required to operate in pairs for many tasks; with the introduction of the K-9 KUBE the productivity has increased with one officer able to complete those tasks in a safe manner. Animal management officers are required that animals must be handled as humanely as possible,the K-9 KUBE has significantly reduced the need to use capture poles allowing for a calmer and less aggressive animal.
The hazard of containing animals at ground level and lifting onto a transport vehicle avoiding injury exists across the whole local laws animal management industry.
The K-9 KUBE was designed to eliminate dog bite and musculoskeletal risk in local laws departments Australia wide.
The K-9 KUBE could be modified to lift material in other industry workplaces were lifting from ground level onto a transport vehicle is required.
Contribution to the State of Knowledge
The hierarchy of control model was discussed and used when identifying the said manual handling issues. Initially administrative control measures were put in place whereby two officers were required to undertake the lifting tasks. Not only was this an unproductive practice, but it placed undue working pressures on the unit.
It was decided engineering control measures were required.
By addressing the issues and implementing engineering control measures,to eliminate the risks officers can and will return to work sooner feeling confident their safety is not compromised.
All animal management officers were involved in the development process,a workshop followed by a series of meetings to identify all OH&S problems were conducted. This formed a prioritized list of requirements for CJM Attachments to develop the prototype.
All officers trialed the prototype in the field, providing valuable feedback on the unit's functionality and areas for further development that maybe required.
Regular reports were provided to Swan Hill Rural City Council's management and OH&S committees.
From the introduction of the K-9 KUBE prototype 9 months ago not a single incident/hazard has been reported.
The K-9 KUBE has had a considerable impact of time poor efficiency. This has allowed the local laws department to strategically target all areas of local law compliance with a proactive and educated focus.
Ratepayer and staff have indicated a response of greater satisfaction.
The publishing of entries on the WorkSafe Awards website and or/the granting of an award does not constitute any endorsement by WorkSafe Victoria of a product, method or service, or the occupational health and safety performance of the workplace. Monthly Champions must undergo expert review to progress through to the stringent validation and judging process and can only progress to the next stage of entry once WorkSafe are satisfied that the entry/entrant has met the relevant award category criteria and terms and condition of entry.