Safer Methods on the Warehouse Floor

Handling heavy goods is part of everyday life in the production, retrieval, and storage processes of many companies. Signs of wear are the consequence, particularly among the employees. So it is little wonder that operators of warehouse facilities are increasingly focusing on the creation of ergonomic workplaces.

Ergonomics in the workplace should not be seen by companies as a burdensome mandatory task. This is especially the case in view of the ever aging workforce and the skills shortage that is also affecting the field of storage logistics. As such, it is becoming ever more important to create an environment for employees in which they are as unhindered as possible when performing their tasks – and when it comes to the subject of ergonomics, this includes providing working conditions that are as safe and healthy as possible.

The physical stress placed on employees is incredibly high in many industries. Average loads of ten kilos per unit are often moved, with the upper limit sometimes as heavy as 20 kg or more. This shows that there is still more to do when it comes to lifting and carrying, despite all the information available about ergonomics in the workplace.

As a result of the intensive work-related physical stress, employees within the industry suffer from musculoskeletal problems particularly frequently, leading to high costs and loss of productivity for companies caused by sickness and absence. These costs can be cut and working conditions simultaneously improved by using auxiliary equipment to pick heavy loads ergonomically. Accordingly, the following should be taken into consideration when manually handling loads:

  1. Reduce the physical stress
  2. Assess the individual physical requirements of the job and the employees’ state of health
  3. Follow instructions relating to health risks and ergonomic lifting and carrying and implement measures to avert these risks

This is also one of the main reasons why many companies have reviewed their approach and are now increasingly focusing on the health of the employee. An ergonomically designed workplace is of primary importance for reducing the number of employees absent due to sickness and excessive stress.

In addition to the health aspects, there are also economic reasons for establishing greater ergonomics in the workplace, because these measures help companies to increase productivity. The use of labour-saving measures at the interface between man and machine is especially important in the area of warehouse technology, because the demands placed on the employees and the production resources are particularly high here and are also permanently present due to the high picking rates. If the processes are managed in line with the ergonomic goods-to-person principle, labour-saving measures such as the use of automated shelf storage systems and the integration of hoisting cranes into the storage systems can significantly improve productivity in terms of costs and speed. The advantages of the system are clear:

  1. Ergonomic optimisation of workstations and work processes
  2. No travel or waiting times thanks to direct delivery of the goods
  3. Faster and more accurate retrieval and picking

Kardex Remstar is the world leader in automated storage and retrieval solutions. So to ensure greater ergonomics for your staff contact us direct on 0844 9390800 or email us at [email protected] or visit our website www.kardex-remstar.co.uk