What is ergonomic material handling solution? For a better understanding, it is important that we first know the meaning of ergonomics. Ergonomics is simply defined as the study of man and work. It is the practice that involves altering jobs and the work environment to suit the needs of the people handling such jobs instead of expecting workers to adapt to their jobs.
In the USA, for example, the military adopted ergonomic practices and principles during the WWII when complicated control panels resulted in pilot errors and became a major problem. The military designers realized that they had to change the controls arrangement to make them easier for pilots to use accurately. They understood that by doing this, they would get a better result than expecting pilots to change their abilities, reactions, and behaviors.
The ergonomic material handling solution is, therefore, equipment for moving and manipulating goods in such a way that it reduces stress, strain, and fatigue on workers. According to the 2017 Workplace Safety Index, manual material handling (MMH) injuries top the list of workers’ compensation claims and their associated costs in the United States across all sectors. These manual material handling injuries are linked to poor ergonomics, which could have been avoided by an ergonomic material handling solution, such as a jib crane.
A Jib Crane May Be an Ergonomic Handling Device
A jib crane is a type of crane, which uses a mounted arm in lifting, lowering, and moving objects. The arm, usually mounted at a less than 900 angle upwards, fixed vertically to a wall, can revolve along the central axis for complete circle or an arc. A jib crane is mostly used in industrial sectors like warehouse and docks to load and unload shipping containers.
A typical example of a manual material handling process is bending over to lift a heavy object, while an ergonomic process involves the use of a crane, such as a jib crane or any other device for lifting heavy objects. The jib crane, in this case, is an example of an ergonomic material handling solution because it replaces the manual material handling tasks that can injure a worker. Other common manual material handling tasks that can cause injuries to workers are lifting objects at a low angle, bending over at low heights, reaching out from the body to pick an object, and carrying materials of any weight even for short distances.
Benefits of an Ergonomics material handling solution
One of the most valuable assets any company can ever have is a dependable, well-trained, problem-solving, productive employee. When such an employee is absent as a result of injury, the peculiar skills she/he has developed over time cannot be replaced by a temporary stand-in. This may have a negative effect on efficiency, quality, and productivity, which can be more expensive than direct medical costs.
That can be prevented by using ergonomic material handling solution, which will make the workplace safer for workers and also minimize risks. Usually, ergonomic improvements may include a simple upgrade; using adaptable, easily operated devices or equipment that eliminate uncomfortable and awkward work positions and minimize lifting, reaching, and bending.
It is, therefore, highly recommended for employers to implement ergonomic material handling solution in their workplace.