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Success with Ergonomics
American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) and
Pulp and Paper Safety Association (PPSA)
Success Brief: A container board packaging company made several improvements to its process for stacking and palletizing bundles of flat corrugated boxes formed by a rotary dies stacker by modifying or eliminating manual tasks and providing additional training.
A container board packing company used a rotary die cut stacker to stack flat corrugated boxes. An employee working at the rotary die cut stacker experienced some upper body discomfort and soreness, some pain in the shoulder, and some swelling in the left hand. The job was reviewed and two manual tasks were identified as candidates for improvement.
One task required the employee to flip over every other bundle of corrugated boxes to meet customer requirements. The bundles weigh between 20 and 30 pounds, and the task had to be repeated every 20 to 30 seconds. Performing this task increased the amount of upper body repetitive motion associated with the rotary die cut stacker job.
The second task required the employee to slide the bundles, from the stacker outfeed conveyor to the load former, which forms pallets of corrugated boxes. This task required the employee to perform an awkward pushing/pulling maneuver that had to be repeated every 10 to 15 seconds.
The review of these job tasked that included employee involvement lead to several ergonomic-related process improvements had a positive impact on employees and company:
Since these ergonomics improvements were made in May 2004, there have been no reported ergonomics concerns from any of the 12 employees working on the rotary die cut stacker.
Source: AF&PA; PPSA (October 2006)