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Success with Ergonomics
American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) and
Pulp and Paper Safety Association (PPSA)
Success Brief: A fine paper sheet finishing facility purchased material handling carts for employees to transport 30 pound rolls of labels and 60 pound cartons of paper.
Packaging operators had to walk 200 feet (one-way) to the labels storage area to pick up and return with a supply of labels to apply on the product. Occasionally the operators also needed to pull a carton of paper off the line and move it to another area to rerun. A roll of labels can weigh up to 30 pounds and operators would often carry more than one roll at a time; the cartons of paper weigh up to 60 pounds.
The facility purchased a material handling cart that was easy to push, suitable for the contemplated loads, and available from most material handling supply companies for about $150 to $300 depending on material and style. One set of wheels on the cart is fixed, and the other set swivels to facilitate steerage. The wheels are made of hard rubber and of a sufficient size to facilitate easy movement of a loaded cart. Once the original cart and procedure were accepted by the operators as a better way of performing the task, more carts of the same design were purchased.
While there had not been any injuries resulting from carrying the labels and cartons by hand, our site survey concluded that this use of the carts would reduce the likelihood of both musculoskeletal injuries and dropped items. The change also had a positive effect on employee morale, and increased productivity. There were about 12 employees affected by this change.
Source: AF&PA; PPSA (August 2007)