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Published Wednesday, 13th July 2016

How do you fully understand the physical requirements of a job role in Sydney, Perth and Melbourne?

You systematically undertake an analysis of physical, cognitive and environmental demands required within a job role and identify the potential risks.

The objective information gathered during a job demands analysis (JDA) or job task analysis (JTA) may be used by the employer, the onsite health team, or external medical providers Injury Prevention, Injury Management, and Risk Management.

The JDA is a risk management tool that provides a baseline for job tasks in specific roles.  From the assessment, hazards are identified, strategies are implemented to minimise risk and  accurate pre-employment assessment tools are created to determine the suitability of workers for a specific role.

The JDA is important for injury management as well.  Suitable duties plans (SDP) can be accurately tailored from a JDA to facilitate timely, effective and safe return to work programs for injured workers.

Overall, JDA’s assist in developing a safer work environment, reducing the risk of injury and minimising the direct and indirect costs of work injuries.

What are the benefits of a Job Demand Analysis?

BENEFITS TO YOUR EMPLOYEES BENEFITS TO YOUR BUSINESS
Elimination of harmful tasks to allow for a safer work environment Early intervention for a productive and sustainable workforce
Understanding that the company if effectively taking steps to eliminate risks Assistance in formulating graduated return to work plans
Effective job matching process Assessing employees competency or training needs
Improved workplace satisfaction Assisting in Pre-employment screening or functional capacity evaluations
Improved communication between stakeholders Increased staff retention
Proactive mindset Reduced workers’ compensation costs
Sustainable return to work performance form injured workers

 

What is a Job Dictionary?

A job dictionary, also called a job demands analysis, should not be confused with a standard job description which commonly determines jobs/wage classifications and for defining the tasks usually undertaken within the role. The JDA on the other hand is a systematic procedure that provides a detailed analysis of physical, cognitive and environmental demands required within a job role and identifies the potential risks. The objective information provided is used by employers and/or medical/ allied health professionals in Sydney, Perth and Melbourne to better understand the physical requirements of the role.

How does it work?

JDA’s allow us to understand the baseline physical, cognitive and environmental demands associated for each job role within an organisation. Traditionally an allied health professional observes a worker complete their job tasks; paying attention to the demands and assesses the potential risks within the scope of work.

Physical demands

The job role is broken down into the key tasks objective measures such as weights, forces, duration, repetition and positions are noted.

Questions asked during a JDA may include:

  • What manual handling tasks are required to perform this task i.e. lifting, carrying, pushing/pulling?
  • What forces and loads are involved i.e. weights of objects?
  • What are the postures and joint range of motion required to perform this task?
  • How many workers perform this task?
  • How long do they do it? (duration)
  • How often do they do it? (frequency)
  • How many workers have reported pain or discomfort from this task?
  • How many injuries have been attributed to this task?
  • What appears to be the main risk factors with this task?

Tasks identified as hazardous are then categorised as high, medium or low risk in relation to the body area.

Cognitive demands

Work load induces fatigue in the workplace and can be assessed in three category including physical load, environmental load, and mental load (Horrey et al., 2011). Fatigue can have multiple causes in the workplaces, especially with repetitive lifting and motion. Therefore, there is no comprehensive single countermeasure to eliminate fatigue from industrial settings. It is necessary to consider ranges of strategies to address the different types and causes of fatigue.

Questions asked during a JDA may include:

  • How many workers perform this task?
  • How long do they do it? (duration)
  • How often do they do it? (frequency)

The ACTU Occupational Health and Safety Unit (2000) recommends No more than 2.5 hours’ continuous work without rest.

Environmental demands

Managing the work environment in Sydney, Perth and Melbourne is a very effective way of ensuring staff safety and promoting safe work conditions.

For example, when looking at work environments, busy periods need to be taken into account, as at times staff may not be able to keep up with the demands of the role if there are only little or no recovery periods available.

It is also assessed if a worker requires additional assistance in lifting, if floor surfaces are slippery or uneven. Varying floor levels in the work area, inadequate lighting, and personal protective equipment (PPE) are also taken into consideration.

Reference: ACTU OHS Guidelines for Shift Work and Extended Working Hours (2000). Web: https://www.nuw.org.au/files/2011/ACTU%20Shift%20Work%20Guidelines.pdf, retrieved online 25 January 2016.

Contact KINNECT on 1300 546 632 to learn more about having a Job Description Analysis done at your organisation.

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