Work station design plays a huge role in either contributing to or reducing the risk of employee injuries. Neglecting to account for the space needed for tool use, the height and depth of a work station, the location of the work station, lighting, and even the proper flow of the manufacturing process put your employees at risk of injury.
A poorly designed work station can expose workers to awkward postures, extended reaches, contact pressure, and unnecessary movements – all known factors of on the job injuries and musculoskeletal disorders.
Common Work Station Design Flaws
When designing a new work station, be sure to consider the following1:
- Size of the work space in square footage
- Height, depth, width, and shape of the work surface
- Ease of access to frequently used tools or equipment
- Access to and type and configuration of storage space
- Access for maintenance
- Space to perform manual work if automation fails
Common work station design problems include1:
- Work surfaces that are too high or too low for the employees
- Work surfaces that are too high or too low for the tools being used or the
- products handled
- Work surfaces that are too deep for the employees
- Work surfaces that are too deep or too shallow for the tools being used or
- the product being handled
- Workstations that occupy too much square footage
- Inadequate work surface space
- Poorly designed work areas that are not next to each other and interrupt
- the work flow
- Controls that are too high or too far away from the employees
- Location and placement of equipment within the work space
- Poorly placed pieces of equipment that are used at the same time
- Poorly designed equipment
- Display panels that are not in the employees line of sight
Design Done Right
It’s important to spend time considering the design of employee work stations at the start of your expansion project. That small investment of time and money to guarantee your work stations are designed correctly will save you time and money incurred from employee injuries and work station redesigns. You may consider it beneficial to hire a professional who can assist you in designing employee work stations that reduce the risk of injury.
Customizing Your Work Stations
Here at Fusion Tech, we are experts in food processing work station design. We can assist you in accounting for common work station design flaws and design and fabrication a completely custom solution to reduce the risk of injury to your employees. If you’re thinking of expanding your plant or replacing worn out equipment, we can help! Simply click the button below to request more information.
1. Department of Industrial Relations Cal/OSHA Consultation Service Research and Education Unit. Ergonomics in Action: A Guide to Best Practices for the Food-Processing Industry. California: California Department of Industrial Relations, 2003. Print.
Photo Credit: Jabbi (WikiMedia Commons)