Proceedings of the AICCM TSIG Symposium, Sydney, Australia 19 to 22 May, 2016
The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) has a dynamic exhibition programme with an emphasis on the display of Fashion. Repetitive mannequin handling and textile remedial repairs are intrinsic to textile conservation and were identified as risks for work-related musculoskeletal disorders.
Movement and dressing of costume on mannequins for photography and display involves repeated lifting and manoeuvring by gallery staff including textile conservators, display specialists, art handlers, curators and photographers. Stresses on the textile and other aesthetic requirements are always considered but stresses on those doing the work can be overlooked.
Previous ergonomic interventions resulted in some reduced postural demands but the single task focus did not consider the entire job complexity and all the work spaces and staff involved. To address this limitation, the ergonomists in this study provided a practical framework to systematically identify all hazards in these complex activities and develop comprehensive and effective controls applicable to all stakeholders. A survey of the global conservation community and literature identified common work methods for these tasks, and approaches in other industries to similar activity demands.
Controls implemented included purpose-designed handling equipment and changes to work procedures. The results, underline the importance of a comprehensive risk management process, stakeholder participation and a practical framework for implementation.