Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

Unusually heavy newspaper set to challenge delivery newsagents

Mark Fletcher
December 3rd, 2018 · No Comments

There are reports that The Daily Telegraph next Saturday will weight just under 1kg. The thin papers of recent years have seen distribution newsagents and their delivery people adjust processes, equipment and the throw.

The forecast considerable weight reminds me of the work done more than ten years ago by the then ANF into ergonomic matters relating to newspaper delivery. The Nery Report, as it was called, was the focus of distribution newsagents for many months.

According to the Nery Report, current work practices are unsafe. The report documents unsafe work practices which stem, in part, from having to handle heavy newspapers. Any newspaper above .6 kilogram in weight is considered to be heavy. Consider this quote from the Executive Summary the report:

The Results section of this report (page 10) has outlined significant ergonomic risk factors associated with the newspaper delivery tasks. These risk factors are particularly related to dimensions of the weekend papers (Advertiser and Sunday Mail) when combined with the repetition, volume and manual handling aspects of the delivery process. In particular, there are significant risks associated with the delivery/throwing of the larger dimensioned and heavier Saturday Advertiser and Sunday Mail newspapers.

David Nery, the respected author of the Nery report was clear:

The current situation, in my view, is unsafe and modifications to the weight, dimensions and volume of papers distributed per person need to be reduced to provide a safe system of work.

While I have written plenty of times here about heavy newspapers and the Nery Report, it feels odd to be writing about it in 2018 when some days papers are mere pamphlets.

If the unusually large paper does proceed this weekend, newsagents should take appropriate precautions and engage with staff to ensure reasonable occupational health and safety.

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Category: Newsagency challenges · newspaper home delivery · Newspapers

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