A survey to identify physically demanding tasks performed during storm damage operations by Australian State Emergency Services personnel

Larsen, Brianna and Graham, Tony and Aisbett, Brad (2013) A survey to identify physically demanding tasks performed during storm damage operations by Australian State Emergency Services personnel. Applied Ergonomics, 44 (1). pp. 128-133. ISSN 0003-6870


To identify and characterize the physically demanding tasks performed by SES personnel during storm damage work.

Thirty-six tasks identified as the most operationally important to storm damage work were included in a survey which was available to all SES volunteers. The survey aimed to identify the physical demand, operational importance, frequency, duration, principal actions and fitness components of each task.

Twelve tasks were identified as the most physically demanding. Of these, carrying sandbags, lifting sandbags and shoveling sand (with hands) rated highest. Covering roof damages with tarpaulin and erecting external weather proofing were ranked highest for operational importance. Box lifting (single-person) and erecting external weather proofing returned the highest mode values for frequency, whereas tasks involving handling sandbags returned the highest mean and median frequency values. Covering roof damages with tarpaulin was identified as the longest task. Bending, lifting, twisting and carrying were the most common actions identified for the physically demanding tasks. Muscular strength and muscular endurance were the primary fitness components identified for the twelve tasks.

SES personnel perform a variety of storm response tasks, many of which are physically demanding. All or most of the physically demanding tasks contain elements of bending, lifting, twisting and carrying, and call upon personnel’s muscular strength and muscular endurance capabilities.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2020 23:52
Last Modified: 22 Sep 2020 02:56
Uncontrolled Keywords: operational importance, emergency services
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111705 Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety
Fields of Research (2020): 35 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 3505 Human resources and industrial relations > 350505 Occupational and workplace health and safety
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 92 Health > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920505 Occupational Health
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apergo.2012.05.010
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/39612

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