Musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) in NSW mines

overview of a mail survey

Christine Aickin, Marcia Lusted, Rebecca Mitchell, Louise Whitby

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contribution


This project was commissioned as part of a strategy by the NSW Mine Safety Advisory Council to reduce MSD in the mining industry. The mining industry includes extractive, underground and open cut sectors. The specific aims of the MSD mail survey in NSW were to: • Validate data already obtained from previous work • Gain understanding of how the mining industry can make improvements and solve problems • Identify enablers and barriers to the improvement of the prevention of MSD. The survey was sent to 971 mine sites. Frontline personnel were targeted. Non-responsive sites were followed up by phone. There was a return rate of 27%. Some respondents were interviewed to incorporate qualitative data into the results. Confidentiality was assured. Two thirds of the survey responses came from small mine sites (less than 20 employees) and respondents were mostly production managers, business owners and employed OHS officers. Front line personnel were not well represented. The key findings were that strains and sprains were most common followed by slips, trips and falls. Slips, trips and falls commonly occurred when descending from vehicles and equipment. The back was the most common site affected. Lifting and handling loads was the most common cause of injury. Rough rides were mentioned as a cause of injury. Most sites had occupational health and safety management systems however, under-reporting of hazards and injuries may be prevalent and consultation during the risk management process may require improvement.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSafer and more productive workplaces
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 46th Annual Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia Conference 2010, HFESA 2010
Place of PublicationSydney
PublisherHuman Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)0980306388
ISBN (Print)9781618391377
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes
Event46th Annual Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia Conference 2010, HFESA 2010 - Sunshine Coast, QLD, Australia
Duration: 31 Oct 20103 Nov 2010


Conference46th Annual Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia Conference 2010, HFESA 2010
CitySunshine Coast, QLD


  • Back injury
  • Mining
  • Musculoskeletal
  • Slips trips and falls
  • Vibration

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