Twisting, Bending, and Lifting? Solutions to Make Your Workplace Safer.

Twisting, Bending, and Lifting?  Solutions to Make Your Workplace Safer.

Keeping your employees' injuries to a minimum can be a challenge, especially when someone’s job duties consist of repetitive twisting, bending, and lifting. Although back injuries account for no work-related deaths, they do account for a significant amount of human suffering, loss of productivity, and economic burden on compensation systems. [1]

Manual materials handling is the principal source of compensable injuries in the American workforce, and four out of five of these injuries will affect the lower back. What can you do to reduce the risk? 

 

The Important Role of Ergonomics

Ergonomics is defined as the study of work. The study focuses on the work environment, such as its design and function, as well as items like—the design and function of workstations, controls, displays, safety devices, tools, and lighting to fit the employees' physical requirements and to ensure their health and wellbeing. Ergonomics dictates that the job should be adapted to fit the person, rather than physically forcing a person’s body to fit the job. [2]

What types of work are most likely to pose ergonomic hazards? MSDs (musculoskeletal disorders) affect workers in almost every occupation and industry in the nation and in workplaces of all sizes. The disorders occur most frequently in jobs that involve:

  • Manual material handling
  • Manufacturing and production
  • Heavy lifting
  • Twisting movements
  • Long hours of working in awkward positions

There’s a high cost with ignoring simple solutions to some of the ergonomic problems in the workplace. MSDs each year account for more than $15 billion to $20 billion in workers’ compensation costs. Total direct costs add up to as much as $50 billion annually. [3] Many solutions to ergonomic problems in the workplace are simple and inexpensive. For example, adjusting the height of working surfaces or putting supplies and equipment within easy reach of the worker could be back savers. What are some of the risks in your shop, warehouse, or manufacturing plant?

Solutions for Material Handling

Supplying the right tool for the job can be an important step in minimizing workplace injuries.  Let’s take a look at the Crown PTH 50PS—a versatile pallet truck with a powered scissor lift.

 

This multipurpose pallet jack with powered scissor lift is designed to help improve comfort and efficiency in work positioning by helping to avoid unnecessary bending and lifting. Designed for use with open-bottom pallets, skids and totes, it is suitable for a variety of workplace environments, including printing and manufacturing. It is ideal for applications requiring frequently varied working heights because unlike a fixed lifting table typically used in these types of applications, it can function as both a hand pallet truck and mobile work positioner that can raise, lower and transport material. With comfort in mind, even the handle takes ergonomics into account as it is designed with optimal thickness and an angled shape for fatigue-free operation.

 

When evaluating the ergonomics of your operation, consider the cost of providing the right tools as a valuable return-on-investment. Safety for your workers equates to healthier employees, better productivity, and reduced worker comp due to MSD injury. It's a win-win for everyone. 

In NE Pennsylvania, Action Lift is ready to be your material-handling solutions partner. 


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