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Make Ergonomic Strategies Work for your Warehouse

Apr 25, 2018

Human Capital Is Your Most Valuable Asset

That’s why it pays to make sure your employees are working smarter – especially when it comes to manual labor. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, work-related illnesses and accidents due to overexertion are the leading cause of absenteeism. It makes sense that the statistics are higher for warehouses and distribution centers. In fact, workers are at the highest risk for sprains, strains and lower back disorders. And during seasons of peak-order fulfillment see a steady increase in injuries.

Here’s what typically happens: poor ergonomics can cause fatigue which can lead to errors, injuries and a decrease in productivity. And it stands to reason that businesses end up paying for poor ergonomics in the plant through worker’s comp claims and insurance premiums. That’s why it makes sense to take ergonomics as seriously as you do accident prevention.

The smartest defense against the challenges these environments present are ergonomic solutions that work to both protect staff and facilitate productivity. Consider investing in material handling equipment, roller stands, transfer carts, and forklift battery changers – practical equipment that is engineered to help workers perform typical work-related physical tasks within a natural range of motion.

8 Simple Ergonomic Fixes

  1. Consider using lighter-weight plastic pallets.
  2. Use high-lift pallet jacks as portable lift tables.
  3. Use low-profile pallet turntables for high-volume pick areas.
  4. Instead of layer picking, de-pallet using a pyramid technique to reduce extended reaching.
  5. Gravity-fed flow racks will reduce the space necessary for slower moving products.
  6. Slide the bottom rows of pallets out using pallet dollies or drawer-style racks to bring work closer to the employee.  
  7. Create raised bottom shelving – add a bolster pallet under loads or raise forks on powered industrial trucks to allow for easier access.
  8. Use hoists, balancers and scissor lifts for volume work rather than manual labor.

For issues from simple and complex, Ohio Tool Systems is your trusted partner for all your needs from onsite inspection, expert installation, or customizing a comprehensive ergonomic solution. Ohio Tool Systems will work with you to assure the most efficient and productive multi-functional system that can pay for itself.

Contact one of our material handling and ergonomic solutions experts today to learn more about our services and to request a quote.