Ergonomics And Material Handling: Take The Agony Out Of Your Warehouse

You’ve heard of the OSHA fatal four – falls, struck-by, caught in or caught between, and electrocution – but there are other workplace hazards that you should be well aware of as well. And chances are injuries from poor ergonomics and material handling don’t come immediately to mind. Work long enough in the warehouse environment though, and chances are that it will.

A report from Travelers Companies’ Injury Impact Report shared that the most frequent cause of workplace injuries stems from material handling. The report analyzed 1.5 million workers’ compensation claims over five years and found that nearly one-third (32 percent to be exact) of all claims resulted from material handling mishaps.

The good news is that material handling issues are largely preventable. All it takes is adopting better ergonomic principles in the warehouse. In this post, we’ll discuss what an ergonomic injury is, material handling solutions to help prevent injury and reduce strain, and more. Read on to learn more, or contact A-Lined Handling Systems today.

Ergonomic Injuries in the Warehouse

Let’s start by answering this question: What is an ergonomic injury? An ergonomic injury impacts the muscles, nerves, tendons, tissues, and bones. Typically derived from ongoing repetitive motionsor positions and/or poor posture, ergonomics can lead to a variety of long-term conditions, including Carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff injuries, back injuries, tendinitis, elbow pain, neck pain, joint pain, and more.

Some examples of ergonomic injuries in the workplace might include carrying heavy items, moving and lifting items or materials on and off racks, bending and twisting awkwardly to reach certain items, and more. Anything that puts the body in an awkward or uncomfortable position can cause an ergonomic injury.

In the warehouse, ergonomic injuries can result in missed work, increased workers’ compensation costs, and lost productivity – all of which can be debilitating to an operation’s bottom line.

Benefits of Ergonomic Solutions

Beyond the safety aspect, there are a variety of benefits associated with adopting more ergonomic solutions in the warehouse. Here’s a look at some of them:

  • Productivity: A safe and healthy workforce is a more productive workforce.
  • Morale: When workers know that solutions are being administered to help keep them safe and avoid injuries, workplace morale improves. This doesn’t just help enhance worker productivity, but it also helps lead to increased job satisfaction among the workforce.
  • Lower absenteeism: The goal of any operation should be to keep its workers safe and healthy so they can continue to bring the best versions of themselves to work each day. This also translates to fewer missed work days due to injury. There’s a shortage of warehouse workers in today’s labor economy, so missed work days can hamper overall productivity.

Ergonomic Warehouse Material Handling Solutions

Now that we’ve discussed the importance of ergonomics in the warehouse, let’s take a look at some specific modern-day solutions that can help keep workers safe and healthy.

  • Overhead handling systems: Various types of overhead cranes can help warehouse workers streamline productivity on the shop floor. The biggest advantage of implementing overhead cranes into the warehouse is to eliminate any manual heavy lifting – cranes do it all for you. There are several other benefits to using cranes as well. For instance, you can go vertical with any lifting rather than take up space on the shop floor. Some overhead cranes can lift to 4,000 pounds.
  • Lift tables: Lift tables are designed to help workers with pallet loading and unloading. Lift tables come in many styles and can typically lift anywhere from 500 to 10,000 pounds.
  • Lifting devices: Lifting devices come in all different types of sizes and styles and simply work to make any type of moderate to heavy lifting a breeze. From vacuum lifters to below hook lifters, there’s a lifting device for any warehouse and any type of application.

Contact A-Lined Today

For more information on the importance of warehouse ergonomics and warehouse lifting tools and accessories, contact A-Lined Handling today.