Working in the logistics industry comes with its share of injuries. There is a lot of lift equipment moving around and you or your employees can easily get hurt. So, what can you do to minimize such injuries and make your company a better working place for your employees?
Minimize Manual Intervention on Equipment
Pallet changers are one of the most important equipment used in warehouses to transfer pallets from one storage to another. Pallet changers can either be manual, semi-automatic, or automatic. If you are using manual pallet changers, then you might want to educate your workers on the safety precautions that need to be carried out while using the equipment.
If you are looking for automatic lift equipment, you can check out the different types of pallet changers offered by credible companies such as Topindustries, headquartered in Dave, Florida. This company is one of the leading suppliers of pallet transfer systems and your one-stop solution to all your material handling issues.
If your business involves moving huge amounts of pallets, then you can opt for “L-shape” lift equipment. This is a fully automated system that can change the pallets, just by tilting the loads. In addition to this, it can handle approximately 70 pallets/ hour, thus saving time and energy.
Some of the features of this equipment include:
- Transferring of products from wooden to plastic and vice versa
- Product repositioning
- Removing damaged products from the bottom of the pallets
- This model can handle any type of pallet loads
- This machine can also insert slip sheets under the loads
- These also come with safety systems in place to avoid workplace accidents
Now even if you have automated pallet changers, that does not mean you or your workers are safe from mishaps. Therefore, it is necessary to train and educate your workers on how to work with pallet changers along with the below safety tips:
- Training workers on using different types of pallet changers
- Allowing two or more people while handling pallet lift equipment
- Using protective gears such as goggles and helmets while handling pallets
- Keeping warehouses clean
- Avoiding keeping empty pallets on the end
- Damaged pallets should be kept aside for repairs or disposal
- Use pick hooks to get hold of pallets at the back, rather than stepping on pallets to reach them
- Avoid stacking pallets higher than 4 feet
In addition to the above, ensure that workers practice extreme caution while stepping between pallets. Even when careful, workers can easily lose balance, resulting in ankle or knee injuries.
Next, always ensure that the pallets are thoroughly inspected for broken boards or nails. If not careful, the pallets can break midway causing injury to your workers’ feet or protruding nails can harm both the workers and your pallet machinery.
When compared to wooden pallets, you can opt for plastic ones which are comparatively safer than their counterparts. Now, you might wonder what the difference between the two is and how plastic pallets can reduce workplace accidents.
Some of the benefits of plastic pallets include:
- These are easier to transport as they are less likely to break
- They can withstand extreme weather conditions while in transit
- They are less expensive than wooden pallets as they are light in weight
- They are flexible and versatile
- Unlike wooden pallets, plastic ones are durable as they do not wear and tear
- They do not absorb moisture like wooden pallets, so there are no chances of fumigation or odor
- They take up less storage space
- Most importantly, plastic pallets are safer as they have a uniform body construction unlike wooden ones
Plastic pallets are widely used in food and beverage, and pharmaceutical industries due to their hygienic conditions as these can be easily cleaned after use. You can even opt for recycled plastic pallets as a way of giving back to the environment.
Workplace Ergonomics with lift equipment
In addition to the above safety tips, workplace ergonomics also play a major role to reduce injuries in warehouses. Strains and sprains while lifting heavy pallets can get serious along with back injuries due to overexertion.
When it comes to practicing ergonomics, it all boils down to the below lifting stages:
- Setting Down
The first step before handling any materials is to mentally prepare you for the task. Look at the load. Will you be able to handle the task yourself? Is the load heavy? Do you require additional helping hands? All these questions need to be answered before you go ahead with the task.
Next is the lifting stage. If you have decided, that you can manage the load handling yourself, next you need to get into the correct posture. Keep your arms and elbows close to your body. While lifting the load, ensure to not bend your back. Keep your knees bent. Slowly pick the load close to your body.
While carrying the load, you need to be calm and focused. Do not jerk, twist, or turn your body. Keep the load as close to your body as possible with your elbows and arms close to your sides.
Last but not the least, while setting the load down, ensure to bend your knees first, keep the load as close to your body, and slowly set it down.
To reduce workplace accidents, ensure:
- To use automated machines to lift and set your materials
- Practice the right postures while lifting materials
- Keep the materials as close to your body while lifting
- Avoid strains to your muscles and back by taking breaks after standing for long durations
- Keep yourself hydrated during summers to avoid strokes by standing long hours in the sun
- During winters ensure that there is proper lighting to as to avoid slips and falls
- Make use of proper handholds while lifting boxes
- If the boxes do not have slots or handle to lift them, you can make use of devices to carry the boxes
Conclusion about lift equipment
The productivity of your business will improve drastically when your workers are less stressed and get involved in lesser accidents. Using the right lift equipment can remove workers from dangerous situations and avoid workplace injuries.