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OSHA Ergonomic Solutions: Beverage Delivery eTool
OSHA Ergonomic Solutions: Beverage Delivery eToolOSHA Ergonomic Solutions: Beverage Delivery eTool

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Delivery Trucks

Hand Trucks

Water Delivery

Beer Kegs

Delivery
Process
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 Water Delivery
The water delivery person delivers three and five gallon bottles of water (the majority of the bottles are five gallons) to a variety of residential and commercial customers. The bottles are placed in square individual crates so they can be stacked on pallets within the bays of the truck.


Torso Bending Top
Potential Hazard:

  • Employees perform frequent torso bending (Fig. 1) when placing bottles of water at ground level or when loading the hand truck for transport.
Fig. 1: Bending to place bottles on hand truck.
Fig. 1:
Bending to place bottles
on hand truck.
Possible Solutions:

  • Providing a handle at the top of the bottle (Fig. 2) near the water release nozzle will allow employees to lower the bottle without placing either of the hands on the bottom. This should reduce the amount of torso bending needed during the lowering process.

  • Educate the employee on the basics of body biomechanics and the importance of maintaining the back in an ergonomically neutral position. Generally, the torso should not bend more than 6 to 10 degrees from vertical.
Fig. 2: Bottle Handle
Fig. 2:
Bottle Handle.


Elevated Reaches Top
Potential Hazard:

  • Employees use repeated, elevated reaches (Fig. 3) to access bottles on the top levels of the palletized water containers.
Fig. 3: Elevated reaching to access bottles.
Fig. 3:
Elevated reaching to
access bottles.
Possible Solution:
  • Reduce the distance employees must reach to access bottles. The arms should be bent and kept in close to the body. Eliminate the fifth row of bottles if at all possible. Reaches should be limited to no more than 16 to 17 inches horizontally and the hands should not need to be raised above head height to remove items from the truck.


Extended Reaches Top
Potential Hazard:

  • Bottle crates are usually stacked two deep within the bays of the delivery truck (Fig. 4). This arrangement forces the employee to use long extended reaches to access bottles at the back of the bay and to lift some of the heavy loads at long distances from the torso. This creates a strain on the low back and shoulders.
Fig. 4: Bottles stacked two rows deep in the bay.
Fig. 4:
Bottles stacked two
rows deep in the bay.


Possible Solutions:

  • Whenever possible, use two employees (Fig. 5). The use of two employees when using proper lifting techniques will generally reduce the hazard of most lifts.

  • Use an articulated arm or other lifting mechanism to lower and position heavy objects.
Fig. 5: Two employees are better than one.
Fig. 5:
Two employees are
better than one.


Bottle Racks Top
Potential Hazard:

  • Not having bottle racks at the delivery site prevents employees from delivering and lifting the bottles at ergonomically desirable heights.


Possible Solution:

  • Provide the customer with bottle racks at the delivery site (Fig. 6) so employees can deliver the bottles at ergonomically desirable heights. Store empty bottles on the top and bottom shelves, and full bottles in the middle shelves. The employees and the customer would both benefit since heavy lifts would be performed at ergonomically desirable heights.
Fig. 6: Bottle Racks.
Fig. 6:
Bottle Racks.


Loading Bottled Water Top
Potential Hazard:

Loading bottled water onto water coolers exposes employees to several risks. A bottle weighs approximately 48 pounds. To load a bottle, the employee must lift it up, over and onto the water cooler (while trying to avoid spilling the bottle). This is an awkward task that places strain on the employee's back, shoulders, arms and legs (Fig. 7-8). Another hazard is that employees may slip and fall as a result of spilled water.


Fig. 7
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 8


Possible Solution:

Provide a bottled water installer (Fig 9-12). The battery operated, rechargeable machine transports, lifts and loads five gallon bottles. The machine handles the transporting, lifting and loading of the bottles, thus eliminating exposure to heavy lifting and water spillage.

Fig. 9: wheel machine to bottle storage area and tilt bottle onto cradle
Fig. 9:
wheel machine to bottle storage area and tilt bottle onto cradle
Fig. 10: close-up of bottle being tilted onto cradle
Fig. 10:
close-up of bottle being tilted onto cradle
Fig. 11: place straps around bottle and close buckle
Fig. 11:
place straps around bottle and close buckle
Fig. 12: place stopper over bottle opening
Fig. 12:
place stopper over bottle opening
Fig. 13: wheel bottle in front of cooler
Fig. 13:
wheel bottle in front of cooler
Fig. 14: press load button
Fig. 14:
press load button
Fig. 15: machine begins tilting bottle up
Fig. 15:
machine begins tilting bottle up
Fig. 16: machine flips the bottle as it reaches the top
Fig. 16:
machine flips the bottle as it reaches the top
Fig. 17: bottle is about to be loaded onto cooler
Fig. 17:
bottle is about to be loaded onto cooler
Fig. 18: stopper arm moves away just as water is loaded
Fig. 18:
stopper arm moves away just as water is loaded
Fig. 19: bottle is safely loaded onto water cooler
Fig. 19:
bottle is safely loaded onto water cooler
Fig. 20: release buckle and wheel away from cooler
Fig. 20:
release buckle and wheel away from cooler


Notes:

Information on the problem of loading bottled water can be found on Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's web site under Lessons Learned - Safety Alerts.

The National Safety Council has a job analysis video series narrated by William Shatner. One of the safety hazards discussed is loading bottled water.



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