6 Material Handling Tips to Prevent Work Hazards
Material handling is accompanied by numerous risks, especially when done manually.
Tasks such as lifting, carrying and pushing can make the workplace unsafe for employees.
Material handling injuries can also be quite expensive with medical costs, loss in productivity and decreased employee morale.
As an organization, you must take preventive measures to minimize injuries and the costs associated with them.
The following are six material handling tips that can help prevent work hazards:
1. Minimize Ergonomic Risk Factors
Ergonomic risk factors are problems that cause unnecessary physical fatigue.
Three primary factors include stressful postures while handling materials like bending or twisting, repetitive motions such as frequent reaching and lifting, and forceful exertions like carrying or lifting heavy loads.
Identify all ergonomic risk factors and minimize them by putting control measures in place to limit the exposure of employees to all possible risks.
2. Provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Supplying protective equipment to workers will greatly minimize injuries when moving materials manually.
3. Upgrade Your Handling Equipment
You can minimize manual material handling by upgrading your equipment.
This not only will help to reduce the material handling risks but also increase productivity and profitability.
4. Noisy and Vibrating Equipment
Noise and vibration are widespread in many facilities, making it imperative to protect your employees’ hearing.
Vibration causes noise, but it can also lead to work-related musculoskeletal disorders and general employee fatigue.
By introducing the right equipment, such as wheeled equipment, you can greatly decrease noise and vibration. With smooth flooring, this will minimize vibration and noise as well.
You can also use impact-absorbing elements and softer wheels to reduce noise and g-forces on a hand trolley.
5. Fatigue due to Manual Handling
Physical weariness and fatigue are common occurrences in manual material handling tasks.
Regardless of whether you have an excellent ergonomic system that caters to the workers’ capabilities, daily manual work can take a toll on your employees.
Cumulative fatigue eventually will give way to a musculoskeletal disorder. So encourage your employees to report any signs of discomfort and fatigue.
Employers can take actions quickly and put control measures in place to prevent fatigue from developing into serious injuries.
6. Use the Right Equipment
Manual material handling is risky, time-consuming and laborious.
By choosing the right equipment, you can make the process safer, faster and more efficient.
Train designated employees on the correct procedures and ensure they always follow the rules.
Regardless of the size of the equipment and the simplicity of using it, verify that only authorized and trained individuals operate it.
Handle your Material Safer Today
You as an employer should always put your employees’ safety as your priority.
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