Big and Bulky: Manually Moving Materials at Work Without Breaking Your Back

Jobs may require heavy and awkward lifting. Furniture movers and factory workers are subjected to hours of labor. How they go about it makes a huge difference in health and longevity. There’s a way to do backbreaking work without breaking your back. Move manual but think logical.

It’s About Ergonomics

Ergonomics seeks to find a way to make a job fit a worker rather than have a person strain themselves to perform a task. The term is popular in office settings, for people remain seated for eight hours or more during the workday. So, the curvature of the spine and strain of the neck is of concern. Similarly, ergonomics seeks ways to make lifting easier for warehouse workers or computer work less strainful for programmers, etc. Manual workers may seek ergonomic supporting belts, dollies, suspenders, etc.

Mark Flammable and Hazardous Materials

Safety standards demand safe housing and handling of hazardous and flammable materials. Workers must go through extensive training and impromptu on the job quizzes via managers to ensure proper protocol is memorized and put into action. Such material must be clearly marked and labeled in appropriate languages. Also, materials must be stored in areas where outsiders and visitors do not have access.

Use Precaution Around Machinery and Conveyors

Accidents happen due to malfunctioned machinery, but more often due to miscalculations and mistakes made by workers. All workers must use added precaution in areas near machinery, especially during operation. In some cases, special shoes or snag-proof clothing is required. Otherwise, conveyors may catch shoelaces, sleeves, etc. Workers must be taught that at no time, shutting a machine down or turning it on included, is it wise to be lax about safety measures.

Implement Handles and Straps

Smart production involves decisions that increase output and safety. For example, workers may be assigned to move boxes without handles, which makes it more difficult to carry and increases the likelihood of accidents. A similar box, fitted with handles, can cost the same in production but enables workers to address more parcels per shift. Such a modification makes sense and increases revenue. See solutions such as dollies and available at RS Components.

Stack and Pile with Care

New employees must go through training periods before they are able to stack and pile materials and boxes on their own or use related equipment. Furthermore, managers should check stacks to ensure the integrity of the raised pile and of each box. Otherwise, sloppy work poses the risk of topples or the spilling of materials on floors or the heads of workers.

Monitor the Height and Arrangement

Heavy materials such as bricks, stone, lumber, and masonry blocks are assigned respective regulations to ensure safety. Additionally, rows of boxes should be shrink wrapped for added support. Drums, barrels, and kegs are to be stacked symmetrically.

Post Protocols

Be sure all new employees are aware of the location of safety protocol signs and resources. Safety phone numbers and alarms need be posted and present in the event of an emergency. Each shift supervisor must see all fire extinguishers work, employees are wearing safety gear, etc.