Many food processing tasks require employees to exert force – such as lifting, pushing, pulling, and moving – on heavy objects. These actions are often necessary in the manufacturing process, but they are also contributing factors to back injuries as well as other musculoskeletal disorders.
Lifting especially takes its toll on the body, resulting in fatigue and injury when not done properly. Some common lifting tasks in a food processing plant include dumping products into vats, stacking products onto pallets, transferring product from one workstation to another, and placing product on conveyors that are not adjusted for employee height.
While it may be impossible to completely do away with lifting in your manufacturing process, there are some simple solutions that will reduce the risk of employee injury and save you the high cost of employee down-time.
Engineering Improvement Solutions
In many cases, you can reduce the risk of employee injuries by making a few engineering improvements to your product and workstations:
- Reduce the size and weight of the package to be lifted
- Add handles to the package
- Invest in work station platforms to better position employees
Administrative Improvement Solutions
Some simple administrative improvements can be made to reduce the risk of injury from lifting:
- Training employees in team-lift techniques
- Training employees to use safe work practices for manual lifting
- Replace lifting tasks with other tasks, if possible
Equipment Improvement Solutions
The ultimate solution to prevent employee injury is a small investment in equipment that takes the task of lifting off the employee. Such solutions include:
- Pallet Lifts
- Platform Lifts
- Vacuum Lifts
- Chutes and slides to maneuver product across conveyors
The less your employees need to manually lift, the lower the risk will be of costly injury.
If you’re ready to reduce the risk of employee injuries and create a safer work environment, Fusion Tech can help. We provide a number of ergonomic solutions to take the task of lifting off your employees through the use of equipment – all custom designed and fabricated to fit your specific need. Contact us today to get more information on our ergonomic solutions.