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In recent years, an increased focus and understanding has been placed on ergonomics in the workplace, and for good reason.

For many workers in a variety of offices and businesses, particularly in warehouses, the positions they’re forced to stay in for long periods of time can begin to have negative effects on their bodies. Repetitive motion injuries, lumbar problems, and even carpal tunnel syndrome can be seen in warehouse employees who are not given the correct ergonomics and posture to do their jobs for prolonged periods.

 

In order to avoid the injury risks that come along with bad worker posture and motion stress, as well as preventing the loss of productivity and morale that can come along with these injuries, we’ve assembled some easy to implement tips and ideas that can keep your workers safe and productive:

 

Improve your belt picking procedures. A lot of warehouses implement items like conveyor belts or pallet tracks to get items from one point to another. While these can be convenient for getting items to their destination more quickly, the low angle they sit at doesn’t do anyone’s back or shoulders any favors. Set your pallet racks as high as possible to minimize strain on the back and hips, and train your employees to lift with their legs and not their back – it’s an old cliche, but it’s one that will always come in handy.

 

Monitor for areas of repetitive motion. A lot of warehouse processes involve repetitive movements such as reaching, carrying items, lifting and moving, and so on. If a certain area of your warehouse demands these movements, or if your process require too much repetition, review your current layout and procedures to see where changes can be made to help your workers.

 

Bring in more ergonomic equipment. A lot of ergonomic risks stem from poorly-designed or otherwise inconvenient workstations and equipment. Replacing your employee’s tables, desks, and workstations with adjustable workstations is an easy way to reduce strain on workers across a number of different job duties, adjusting the height of your shelves can help reduce wear and tear on backs, arms, and shoulders, and using powered lifting equipment like forklifts and scissor lifts will go a long way to reduce the risk of injury from lifting heavy cargo.

 

Improve your package handling. Whatever products your warehouse deals in, you’re going to be dealing with a lot of packages of different shapes and sizes, all of which can have a big impact on the safety of workers. Limit all packages to 50 pounds (unless they’re designed to be carried by a machine and not a person), encourage things like gloves and knee pads, and train all workers on proper lifting posture and technique.

 

Enforce breaks. In today’s fast-paced business world, the temptation is there for everyone to work through lunch and/or any breaks they may be given. This sort of overworking is a leading cause of ergonomics issues and injury, however, and making sure your employees take all their legally required breaks (or at least a few short ‘mini-breaks’ now and again) will help give themselves some time to recharge.

One Response to “Improving Warehouse Ergonomics to Reduce Injury Risk”

  1. Jason Darnstaedt says:

    This is so important, yet often goes ignored until a serious injury occurs. Workers’ bodies can only handle so much wear and tear. It’s important to utilize equipment and put processes in place that will ease the burden.

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