Worker safety is a crucial aspect of any manufacturing or storage operation. Because of the use of heavy machinery and equipment, there’s always an increased chance of accident and injury. That is why we will discuss how to improve worker safety with positioning equipment. But before that, let us briefly understand what is positioning equipment.
What is Positioning Equipment?
Positioning equipment is the type of material handling that places material in the correct position for handling, installation, storage, transport or machining. Positioning equipment includes hoists, balancers, industrial manipulators and lift/tilt/turn tables.
Even the Bureau of Labor recommends using the NIOSH Lifting Equation to avoid employee back injuries. The NIOSH Lifting Equation is widely accepted as valid in the field of occupational ergonomics, providing occupational health and safety professionals an objective ergonomic risk assessment tool for manual material handling tasks.
How does Positioning Equipment Affect Worker Safety
When you’re using positioning devices like jib cranes, hoists or bridge cranes, you are significantly reducing the risk of accidents due to heavy loads on the floor. Furthermore, overhead equipment like these operates in the overhead space of the facility. So there are no obstacles in the device’s way of carrying heavy loads. On the other hand, other heavy load lifting devices like forklifts always pose the risk dropping goods as well as accidents due to crashing and injuries to workers. Moreover, overhead equipment is controlled with remote controls which keep the operator at a safe distance from the device; so they can safely maneuver the loads.
The US Department of Labor OSHA recommendation prescribes the following about lifting loads: “Limit weight you lift to no more than 50 pounds. When lifting loads heavier than 50 pounds, use two or more people to lift the load.” In workplaces that require significant heavy lifting, it is impractical to hire a large number of employees to lift those heavy loads. Moreover, you’re putting more people at the risk of bad ergonomics due to lifting heavy loads. In such scenarios, it is advisable to install the relevant positioning devices for your facility.
When there are devices like hoists, balancers, and manipulators in a facility, the operators don’t have to do the heavy lifting. This reduces the risk of injury and fatigue. Nevertheless, these devices are more efficient in lifting and transporting heavier loads. This frees the workers to do other tasks more suited for them while there is also lesser chance of human error. This way you can save your employees from injuries and also save your bottom like. It is a known fact that employee injuries lead to increased overhead in the areas of workers’ compensation, insurance costs, absent days, employee morale, OSHA fines, and more.
There are various lifting devices for different uses. For example, if you need to lift loads, a hoist is the right choice. If you need higher precision in lifting the loads, a balancer is good for you. Contact your supplier for more details. So this is how to improve worker safety with lifting equipment.