Everyday functions of most warehouses and industrial operations falls within the realm of manual material handling–constant lifting, bending, stretching, reaching, pushing and otherwise moving materials by people. Everything from moving cartons, picking orders, reaching for packing materials and other activities. Manual material handling contributes to musculoskeletal disorders, with more than 500,000 reported annual cases of strains and stress in shoulders, backs, arms, and legs.
While you can never eliminate it, you can reduce the worst aspects of it. Using workbenches and tables will alleviate many of the problems for your team and increase productivity.
Utilize Benches & Tables
A great way to find where you can utilize benches and tables and reduce injuries and lost production is to walk your plant floor and look for awkward postures. Are people stooping or stretching to reach an area, pick an order or assemble kits? Monitor your workflow for repetitive motion. If a task requires reaching, carrying things or lifting them all the time, it’s worth investing in more effective, ergonomic changes. Heavy duty lifting and manipulation of heavy loads is a workers’ compensation case waiting to happen. Are loads such that anyone in the plant can execute the job? Make as many changes as you can so just about anyone can physically handle every job. This creates tremendous labor flexibility.
Modern research tells us sitting at a desk all day is hard on people. Any fixed position or posture, including standing on a plant floor in the same position, is ergonomically unsound.
Increases Pick Speeds
Delivering goods to pickers increases pick speeds, but one of the reasons speeds are increased is that workers aren’t wearing themselves outreaching deep into shelves or trotting around a warehouse. This also can reduce the chances of scrapes, trips, and bumps.
Raise & Lower Loads
Utilize workbenches and tables for lifting equipment to raise and lower loads rather than using muscle power. Scissor lifts are also ideal as are hoists, balancers, and other powered methods to manipulate loads. You trade flexibility for ergonomics, but you can recoup that investment with a significantly fresher, less stressed, more energetic workforce and strain/injury reduction.
Rotating tables, pallet positioners, carts and other equipment foster healthy ergonomics by delivering the load to the worker. A rotating/lifting combination that always presents workers with the load in the best possible position speeds up the picking process. Install tilters to help dump or load bulk loads so they are easier on the people processing them, rather than reaching into deep bins for components.
Platforms, steps, and ladders reduce reaching. Portable or fixed work platforms helps workers maintain more strength and balance. This means that workers should grasp loads 30 to 40 inches from her standing surface. Adjustable height workstations are another way to keep the load in the power zone.
Workbenches and tables reduce the risk of strain related injury. This helps you fulfill your legal responsibility for providing a safe working environment while increasing your ROI on every pick.
Contact us today to find out how we can help you choose the best benches and tables for your facility.