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.

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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.

Basic protective equipment includes eye protection, helmets, gloves and steel-toed safety boots. They protect the in-step area from impact or compression.


3. Upgrade Your Handling Equipment

You can minimize manual material handling by upgrading your equipment.

Use hand pallet trucks, electric stackers, higher lifters and ladder trolleys to move materials rather than carrying them manually.

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.

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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.

Material handling equipment is also available in the form of storage equipment such as shelves, racks and cage pallets.

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.

Having trouble deciding which handling equipment you should buy? Read the Best Handling Equipment to Boost Work Progress to help you make the right choice.

Stuck choosing the best one? Call us up and contact our friendly customer service team for more specialized options.

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