Equipment to Improve Worker Safety when Performing Common Tasks

Posted On: August 18, 2015 in Workplace Safety

Warehouses can be dangerous environments. Beyond fall, collision and impact hazards, there are less obvious hazards that pose equally serious safety risks. Poor workstation design and the repetitive nature of many warehouse tasks opens the door to both acute muscle trauma and repetitive strain injuries (RSI). Besides an ethical obligation to create a safe workplace, the lost productivity and potential liability resulting from worker injury means employers cannot afford to ignore task design and ergonomics.

Reducing RSI and acute injury risk is not complicated. However, it requires an understanding of common hazards and knowledge of methods available to reduce the risks. Employee education is a first step in reducing injury risk. Teaching proper lifting techniques and encouraging employees to recognize the risks can significantly reduce workplace injuries. In addition to education, a number of devices are available to improve task ergonomics.

Take a Load Off with a Scissor Lift

Lifting heavy loads from ground to waist level is a common task in many work environments. Unfortunately, this type of lift puts the worker at risk of back injury. Slipped discs and muscle strains are common injuries resulting from this type of heavy lifting. Scissor lifts are a simple option to assist the worker with lifting tasks. The low profile lift platform moves through a range of heights and angles to eliminate the lifting burden and minimize the ergonomic strain to the worker.

Twist with a Rotating Table

Another risky movement pattern is twisting while carrying a load. Rotating while holding a load places the back in a very vulnerable position. A simple solution is a rotating table. Rotating tables mechanically or manually turn around a central pivot, allowing the work surface to rotate. This rotation can reduce operator movement and is especially helpful while building-up or breaking down a pallet load.

Tip it back with a Tilting Table

Tilting tables are another valuable tool when trying to improve process ergonomics. As the name suggests, these tables tilt-up to angle the work surface towards the worker. This brings parts closer to the worker and can improve access to storage bins and barrels.

Combined, scissor lifts, rotating platforms and tilting tables go a long way to improving the ergonomics of a variety of common warehousing tasks. While a proper workplace assessment can fully identify risks, common sense and the right equipment can lead to a meaningful reduction in health and safety risks in your warehouse. At McKinley, we have helped numerous facilities improve their work processes. Contact us today to see how our solutions can benefit your workplace.