According to Occupational Health and Safety Regulations and Workplace BEC, poor posture and awkward positions maintained during long work hours are both leading contributors to workplace injury and lost productivity. Awkward postures can lead to muscle strain, including strain in the lower and upper back, and if left unaddressed, minor strain injuries can lead to more serious problems over time.

Awkward postures repeated over and over again throughout an entire shift, day after day and month after month, can also lead to joint damage, skeletal problems, and nerve issues. Some of the most common workplace posture problems occur in materials handling venues, where workers are required to push, pull, lift, carry, and operate lifting machinery for hours and days at a time.

Proper Positioning Matters

Are your employees bending down to pick up objects that push the limits in terms of human lift capacity? Are they pulling, pushing, raising or lowering heavy objects using pulley systems or handcarts when they should be using fully automated forklifts? And if your employees are using forklifts, are they using a lift truck model that’s suited to the load and the job at hand? Keep these considerations in mind as you answer these questions.

Lift Trucks Pay for Themselves

Even a small, highly affordable lift truck with a modest load capacity can prevent potential injuries and awkward lifting postures on the part of your workers. And while preventing painful and expensive medical problems, they can also provide a huge boost in productivity. Consider minimal, budget-friendly pallet lifters, walk/ride lift trucks, or short-term rental options during your busiest season.

Ergonomic Controls Make a Difference

If you’re currently using automated lifting systems or lift trucks in your materials handling facility, are you using the right models? Start by estimating the average shift time your employees spend in the driver’s seat of your current lift trucks. If some employees are sitting behind the controls for seven or eight hours at a time, a minor difference in seating, steering, or signal indicator placement can protect these operators from harm over the long term. Make sure your employees are benefiting from adjustable seating, unobstructed vision, and easily accessible, intuitive steering and mast controls.

For more information on lift truck purchase or rental options that meet the needs of your workplace and protect employees from the physical demands of the job, contact the materials handling experts at Liftow.