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Success with Ergonomics
American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) and
Pulp and Paper Safety Association (PPSA)

Company: AF&PA member company; PPSA member site
Industry: Corrugated Container Plant NAICS Code: 322211; SIC Code: 265
Task: Manually stacking bundles of finished goods (typically flat corrugated boxes) to form pallet units
Employees: 140 (number at the site)

Success Brief: The corrugated container plant installed a hydraulic scissor lift in a corner stacking section to reduce repetitive bending and reaching when stacking bundles to form pallet units.

The Problem

The operator is responsible for forming stacks of finished goods (typically flat corrugated boxes) on a slip sheet by manually transferring 5 bundles of the finished goods from an adjacent feed conveyor to a corner stacking section mounted on a takeaway conveyor at a significantly lower elevation. The corner stacker remains in a fixed position and helps ensure the stacked bundles are properly aligned. When the stack is complete, the takeaway conveyor transports it away so a new stack can be formed. Employees were subject to repetitive bending, lifting and reaching while forming the stacks.

The Solution

A hydraulic scissor lift with a foot pedal control and safety curtain was installed in the corner stacking section. As installed, the level of the roller bed can be raised above but not lowered below the level of the takeaway conveyor. The scissor lift allows the operator to adjust the height of the corner stacking section as needed, thereby reducing or eliminating bending and reducing reaching down while forming the stacks. Note: By itself, this solution may not, in all cases, completely address the potential need to reach above the shoulders. That issue might be addressed by marking a maximum stack level on the wall of the corner stacker or, in the case of a high stacking requirement, possibly by recessing the scissor lift into the floor.
Corner Stacker in Down Position
Corner Stacker in Down Position
Corner Stacker in Elevated Position
Corner Stacker in Elevated Position

The Impact

This improvement to the corner stacker allows employees to remain in an upright posture while forming stacks, thereby reducing or eliminating bending at the waist and reducing reaching while performing this task.

Source: AF&PA; PPSA (July 2007)