Forklift Ergonomics 101

Ergonomics is more than just a word. It is a way of life. As the material handling industry evolves, forklift ergonomics has become a trendier word that is more readily used in warehouses across the world. Ergonomics is a matrix-based approach toward bolstering productivity, safety, and efficiency. The ideology is rooted in the importance of preventing down time to critical machinery. Moreover, employee welfare is another key component as the focus remains on highly-avoidable injuries. Are you looking to adapt forklift ergonomics into your supply chain or material handling operation? Are you unsure of what tools can be used? Are you hoping to determine the benefits? Here is the skinny on ergonomics and some of the enhancements you can expect to see in your warehouse, should you implement this philosophy accordingly:

1) Driver-Friendly Components – Forklifts will be built to be more driver-friendly from a physical perspective. For example, to prevent neck twisting, forklifts will feature swivel seats. This does more than just protect the neck. It also can aid in proper posture as the forklift driver surveys the floor and as a result prevent back injuries. Moreover, mirrors will not just be featured for the rear view or side view. Instead, mirrors will be installed all over the production floor so the driver can simply gaze across the landscape and observe whatever he or she needs to see. In addition to swivel seats, many forklifts will also feature stand-up seating. Stand-up seating is another means that has been shown to aid posture and prevent the onset of musculoskeletal conditions. Ergonomics focuses on little things such as these to make the big things right.

2) Overall Attitude of Continuous Improvement – Ergonomics and continuous improvement have become interchangeable in nature. The thought process behind ergonomics as a whole is finding ways to the do the same job better, faster, and safer. With performance metrics and indicators utilized across the board, continuous improvement will become a daily aspect of operations. In doing so, employees and staff will buy in and thus a culture of transformative change can take shape in your enterprise. Continuous improvement looks at the fine print to derive processes and protocol to streamline every aspect of the project or initiative. Whether it be shipping, receiving, logistics, or production, there are earmarks that can be revamped to help your business achieve and exceed the benchmarks set forth. Forklift ergonomics focuses on how your fleet can do just that.

3) A Wide Range of Enhancements – According to ERGO,  there are a wide range of faculties, facilities, and organizations committed to the very precept of forklift ergonomics. Whether it be a simple consultation or the distribution of enhancements designed to get the job done in better ways, forklift ergonomics champion utilization of nifty tools and equipment to maximize the performance of your fleet. The material handling industry is filled to the brim with cutting-edge innovations and inventions geared to handle a wide range of functions and duties. Whether it be to reach stored goods on higher shelves safer or longer-lasting power sources, ergonomics will introduce a cornucopia of adjustments to help your business prevent injuries and lower costs.

About Tom Reddon

Tom has been involved in the forklift industry since 1986. He loves doing research, blogging, and speaking about forklifts. You can contact Tom on his Twitter or Google+ profiles.

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