Poor ergonomics on the job can lead to serious musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). These injuries have widespread consequences for workers and employers. Serious short and long-term disabilities can occur when the right ergonomic equipment is not in place. For Health and Safety and Human Resources Managers within manufacturing and industrial organizations, ergonomics should be a top priority. When an employee is injured on the job it opens employers up to a wide range of liabilities including disability compensation, increased insurance premiums, and settlement costs, among others.
Ergonomic equipment and systems are specifically designed to allow workers to do their jobs without putting their bodies in harms way. Stresses on the body can lead to injury and it doesn’t have to be just heavy lifting. MSDs can occur as a result of repetitive motion, improper lifting or forceful exertion or motion, among other factors. The right ergonomic equipment alleviates these potentially dangerous situations. Let’s take a look at a few of the most critical ergonomic systems for the workplace.
Desks and Workstation Lifts
Jobs in the manufacturing, healthcare laboratory, and industrial fields oftentimes require workers to position their bodies in ways that can lead to injury. Jobs types in these fields include mechanical engineers, assembly professionals, laboratory workers, mechanical engineers and manufacturers of furniture among others. Ergo Equipment desk and workstation lifts use hydraulic legs that move the workstation surface up or down to achieve a safe position for each worker.
Because worker heights vary, there is no single static workstation that fits everyone. The height of a workstation is critical to ergonomics because when the body is positioned improperly it can lead to strain. Ideally, when sitting, the elbows should be at a 90-degree angle when resting on the station or desk. When sitting in a chair, knees should be level with the hips or just below. And feet should be flat on the ground or on a flat, sturdy footrest.
Vacuum & Magnetic Lifts
Lifting and material handling are among the leading causes of ergonomic related workplace injury. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that over 36 percent of injuries that lead to missed work involve the back and shoulder. Even light loads can cause problems. Activities that require overexertion, bending, twisting, turning, and improper lifting techniques puts strain on the back and can lead to muscle sprains and strains.
Vacuum and magnetic lifts are designed to lift objects, removing the human element. Ergonomic lifting equipment comes in a range of forms and functions. The Ergo Equipment portable jib crane uses an articulating arm to lift up to 180 lbs. and can easily be moved from place to place by one worker. Vacuum lifts can be used to handle boxes, bags and other objects. Ergo Equipment lifts have a lifting capacity of up to 500 lbs. and can be made with end effectors custom designed to your specifications.
Electric Walkie Tuggers
The force required to push or pull heavy loads puts serious strain on the musculoskeletal system. This strain can cause injury to muscles, tendons, circulation, and nerves. Damaging the back while pushing and pulling is the biggest risk factor and can lead to the most serious injuries. The risk for pulling a muscle or damaging the back increases when these motions are repeated day in and day out on a jobsite.
Ergo Equipment Walkie Tuggers are designed specifically to push and pull heavy loads. They are battery powered, self-contained and operated by walking behind the unit. A range of tugs are available through Ergo Equipment depending on the specific requirements of the job. The smallest units are capable of moving loads of up to 1,000 lbs. when the load is on a wheeled cart. The heavy-duty tug can pull up to 50,000 lbs. Tugs are specifically designed for dumpsters and carts and others can move a range of equipment.
Manufacturing and industrial lifting requirements vary widely. Electric lifts from Ergo Equipment are designed to lift a wide range of objects and feature a modular design. Lifts can handle drums and barrels, rolls, totes and boxes, among others. These ergonomic products not only lift, but they also tilt, turn and precisely orient the position of an object for safe and effective movement and unloading. Platforms and end effectors can be custom designed to customer specifications.
When the job calls for employees to consistently put strain on their bodies, addressing ergonomics should be a top priority. Investing in proper ergonomic equipment and systems in the workplace is a smart idea for protecting the health and safety of workers. Doing so also reduces the chance of subjecting businesses to serious liability. To learn more about ergonomic equipment such as desk and workstation lifts and electric lifts, contact Ergo Equipment today.