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Warehouse ergonomics is a common topic of discussion in any line of warehousing or storage work.

It helps protect your workers from injury, it can increase productivity in a lot of cases, and if implemented properly doesn’t have to be a major expense.

We’ve talked a lot about the safety aspects of ergonomics in the past, but a less-commonly-discussed ‘side effect’ of ergonomic optimization on your warehouse is the ability to more product more quickly through your warehouse, boosting productivity. If you want to find more ways to optimize your warehouse for ergonomics while helping products move through your warehouse faster than ever before, read on:


Add more gravity conveyors:

Gravity flow racks are one of the fastest and most cost-effective ways to both improve the ergonomics and the productivity of your warehouse. By installing gravity flow racks at the proper areas in the warehouse – shipping/receiving, areas of the fastest product movement, etc – you can reduce the risk of muscle strain on your workers and can drastically decrease the amount of time it takes to move products from one end of the warehouse to the other.


Install slides and chutes to move products between levels:

The rise of mezzanines has led to a lot of warehouses having multiple levels for additional work and storage room, even if the warehouse itself isn’t designed for multiple stories. While this increase in floor space has allowed for more work to get done and more products to be stored, moving heavy loads between the floors can be a source of injury for workers. Where possible, replace staircases with spirals, chutes, or inclines to help move packages up and down from mezzanines or second stories – this will help reduce strain on your workers and cut down on the amount of time it takes products to move from one area to another, which can add up after a while.


Keep as many products as possible at optimum height:

Especially during busy seasons like the holidays, the temptation might be strong to stack pallets and inventory high and deal with it later. This might save you a little time in the short term, but can make it a lot harder for your workers to get to the products they need safely or effectively. On your warehouse shelves and pallet racks, keep these two tips in mind: never stack anything so high that it can’t be safely reached (even with forklifts), and try to keep everything arranged neatly and right in front of the worker to avoid shoulder strain or repetitious injury. Speaking of which…


Avoid repetitive movement:

In all areas of your warehouse, you need to be aware of how your workers are moving product, and the effect it may begin to have on their bodies. If you keep a lot of products (or at least the popular products that move quickly) at an area where workers have to reach too high to get them, or twist their arms, shoulders, or waists in an unnatural way, this can begin to hamper productivity and cause injuries that could have been avoided. Review your current storage layouts and see what improvements can be made to reduce the impact of needing to pivot strangely to put a product on a conveyor, or to avoid reaching over their heads, and so on.

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