Is manual lifting endangering your employees? Repetitive strain and overuse injuries, often resulting from regular manual labor and/or improper lifting, account for at least a quarter of missed work injuries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Moreover, routinely lifting objects, machinery, and parts by hand dramatically increases the likelihood of sudden impacts, blows, and other serious accidents. How can industrial operations and maintenance employers keep lifting safe?
Invest in Handling and Lifting Equipment
Nearly 3 million workers reported occupational injuries and illness in 2012. Moreover, a single OSHA citation can range from $5,000 to $500,000. Employers can keep operations safe by investing in handling and lifting equipment. Here are some products that keep hazards at bay:
- Leveling feet, swivel casters and platforms, and forklifts. Workers can safely raise and move machines using simple handling equipment. Leveling feet, for example, allow workers to elevate equipment for routine maintenance and inspections without unnecessary strain. Workers can also use them to stabilize machines on uneven flooring. Stabilizing and supporting equipment decreases chances of workers being struck by parts and objects.
- Conveyor belts and pneumatic lifts. Employers should discourage manual lifting whenever possible. Automated mechanical lifting is a popular alternative.
- Industrial handles and cinch straps. Installing industrial knobs and handles keeps any required manual lifting as safe as possible by helping workers get a secure grip. Similarly, cinch straps fasten loads to various handling equipment, preventing parts from falling during transportation and lifting.
Revamp Safety Training
If manual lifting is unavoidable, employers need to make certain that industrial operations and maintenance workers are doing it correctly. For example, employees should always stretch before attempting any lifting or manual labor. Companies can also train employees to lift objects without putting undue strain on back muscles.
Don’t risk your employees’ health. Reduce the likelihood of costly worker injury by taking advantage of handling and lifting equipment and revisiting important safety training and instruction.