Employees working with awkward posture is one of the leading factors of musculoskeletal disorders in a food processing plant. Reaching across a conveyor, lifting heavy loads, twisting and bending at a work station, raising product overhead are common tasks in a food processing plant — and all raise the risk of employee injury.
Prolonged reaching, stretching, bending, twisting, kneeling, squatting, and working overhead (the seven categories of awkward posture) affects the muscle groups in use and makes work tasks more demanding. The constant and increased demand in turn can cause damage to the muscle groups, ligaments, tendons, and joints.
Reducing awkward posture at workstations in your food processing plant not only reduces the risk of employee injuries, it also reduces your risk of paying out the high costs of employee injuries.
Awkward Posture Solutions
While it may seem like a daunting task — after all, every employee is different and requires workstations to be a different heights — reducing awkward posture is easier than you think. Here are 5 ridiculously easy ergonomic solutions for awkward posture:
Utilize Mechanical Feed Conveyors or Dumpers
Employees who use containers or shovels to dump products into bins or vats are often subject to reaching and working overhead. Lifting product above their head, twisting and reach over to dump into a bin or vat will eventually lead to injury.
A simple solution: use mechanical feed conveyors or dumpers to take product and move it into bins or vats. This reduces the risk of employee injury by putting the lifting and repositioning tasks on a machine.
A small investment: Fusion Tech can design a conveyor or dumper to reduce the risk of employee injury and fit seamlessly into your plant. Download our Fusion Move catalog to see our conveyor and dumper solutions.
Reduce the Height of Stacked Boxes or Products
Reaching overhead to pick up a box or product is a recipe for disaster. The prolonged motion of reaching and lifting can cause serious damage to shoulder and back muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints.
A simple (and free) solution: reduce the height of stacked boxes or products. A shorter stack will reduce the amount of overhead reaching and protect your employees from injury.
Raised Work Platforms and Ergonomic Stands
The differing heights of your employees can cause a problem: no one piece of equipment will ever be at the perfect height for every employee. Some employees will need to reach overhead. Others will need to stoop. Both solutions position your employees at awkward postures and increase the risk for injury.
A simple solution: Positioning employees at the correct height to reach workstations and product is a great way to reduce the risk of injury — and there is no better way to do that than investing in raised platforms and ergonomic stands. These platforms and stands will position your employees exactly where they need to be, and are adjustable to fit every employee, no matter their height.
A small investment: Fusion Tech can design a raised work platform or ergonomic stand to position your employees at the right height next to your equipment. Check out our Work Platforms and Ergonomic Stands pages for more information.
Reaching across a conveyor to grab or place product often positions your employees in awkward postures. Most conveyors can be too wide to allow employees to reach product without having to over reach — which not only places them in awkward positions, but also raises the risk of employees falling onto moving equipment.
A simple solution: Purchase narrow conveyors. Narrow conveyors keep product within reach of employees and reduce the risk of needing to over reach.
A small investment: Fusion Tech can design a narrow conveyor to reduce the risk of employee injury and fit seamlessly into your plant. Download our Fusion Move catalog to learn more.
Diverter or Push Bars
A simple solution: Another way to reduce the risk of injury caused from employees reaching over a conveyor is to invest in diverter or push bars. These bars, easily added to your conveyors, move product towards your employees, keeping them from needing to over reach.
A small investment: Fusion Tech can design a diverter or push bar to reduce the risk of employee injury and fit seamlessly into your plant. Download our Fusion Move catalog to learn more.
Reduce Your Awkward Posture Risk
Providing solutions to reduce the number of awkward posture tasks performed in your facility will reduce the risk of costly employee injuries and save you thousands in payouts, increased insurance premiums, and more.