For the material handling industry, moving products throughout a facility is a critical process which relies on organization, precision, and best practices in order to a establish a safe and efficient workplace. Finding and making the right improvements in manual warehouse labor will increase productivity and reduce ergonomic injuries. To do this, organizations must try to eliminate the “hassles and hurdles” in the workplace that result in injury or illness. Eliminating these will lead to a more productive workplace and improved employee morale.
In the warehouse, material handlers often perform manual tasks which include lifting, pushing and carrying resulting in various physical stressors-the back being the most affected. These stressors can present a significant challenge to an operator’s work performance.
When developing solutions to ergonomic safety, organizations must consider budget, productivity, ergonomic risk reduction and ease of implementation to determine the right course of action. Modifications in the workplace equipment and setup involve a monetary cost that frequently presents conflict in itself and can be a tough sell. Nevertheless, over time, these improvements generally outweigh the costs and will result in a positive impact. Often times, though, these changes do not need to be costly. Changing work methods and task responsibilities such as more frequent rest breaks or job operator rotation are just a few examples of low cost solutions that can lower exposure to injury or illness.
Determining the most effective way to move material handling objects while decreasing any ergonomic risk by the operator is key to establishing balance in the workplace, positively affecting productivity and cost.
Author: Heather Connors, Director of Marketing, Conveyor Handling Company
Looking to improve your warehouse ergonomics?