Material Handling Back Statistics Principles of Ergonomics Back Injury Lifting Equipment Proper Lift Carrying the Load
Back Statistics 80% of Americans will have a back injury that requires medical attention Back injuries are the second most common cause of lost work time, next to the common cold Back injuries occur more often at home than they do at work Injured backs are often subject to reinjury In addition to missed work, there may be a lifetime of pain
Principles of Ergonomics Avoid static loads and fixed postures Provide support for limbs Avoid high forces and lifting Avoid highly repetitive tasks Accommodate a variety of sizes and people Design for the extremes Design for the average Design with adjustability
Back Parts Vertebrae Spinal cord Disks Muscles, ligaments, tendons
Back Posture Maintain the back’s natural curves Standing Sitting Sleeping Changing posture and stretching Adaptive posture
Recognize the 5 Leading Back Injury Risk Factors! 1. Poor posture 2. Poor physical condition 3. Improper body mechanics 4. Incorrect lifting 5. Jobs that require high energy
Potential Back Injury Strain or sprain Bulging disk Herniated disk Back injuries are rarely the result of a one time incident!!!
Causes of Injury Years of abuse Poor posture Unconditioned back Excess weight and potbellies Bad lifting techniques
WHAT CAUSES MANUAL HANDLING INJURIES? Weight is not the only problem when it comes to handling loads. There are many other factors that can contribute to injury, such as: bending, stretching or twisting to reach loads, eg. pulling items out from under a work bench, or pulling steel bars from a high storage rack handling large and awkward loads, eg. batteries carrying loads over long distances or for long periods of time carrying loads in an area where floor surfaces are cluttered, uneven or slippery
Incident Example An apprentice maintenance worker injured his lower back while lifting a 20-liter paint tin. This included lifting and carrying 20-liter tin of paint approximately 30-40 meters.
Let’s demonstrate your back as a lever. With the fulcrum in the center of the lever, how many pounds would it take to lift a ten pound object? A. 5 pounds B. 10 pounds C. 15 pounds Understanding Your Back as A lever
Will it take more or less force to lift the same 10 pound object with the fulcrum shifted to the side furthest from the object?Ergonomics MORELESS
When you add in the 105 pounds of the average human upper torso, you see that lifting a ten pound object actually puts 1,150 pounds of pressure on the lower back. Ergonomics
If you were 25 pounds overweight, it would add an additional 250 pounds of pressure on your back every time you bend over. Given these figures, it is easy to see how repetitive lifting and bending can quickly cause back problems. Even leaning forward while sitting at a desk or table can eventually cause damage and pain. Ergonomics
Lifting Equipment Powered equipment such as forklifts, powered carts, and electric pallet jacks Handtrucks, carts, pallet jacks Cranes and hoists Back belts?
Proper Lift Stand close with a shoulder-width stance Squat by bending your knees and hips Pull the load close and grip it Tighten your stomach, lift your head Rise up with your legs
Place objects up off the floor. Set items down on a table or other elevated surface so you won't have to reach down to pick it up again. The best zone for lifting is between your shoulders and your waist. How to Prevent Back Injuries
Follow these steps when lifting: 1. Take a balanced stance with your feet about a shoulder- width apart. One foot can be behind the object and the other next to it. 2. Squat down to lift the object, but keep your heels off the floor. Get as close to the object as you can.
Follow these steps when lifting 3. Use your palms (not just your fingers) to get a secure grip on the load. Make sure you'll be able to maintain a hold on the object without switching your grip later. 4. Lift gradually (without jerking) using your leg, abdominal and buttock muscles and keeping the load as close to you as possible. Keep your chin tucked in so as to keep a relatively straight back and neck line.
Follow these steps when lifting 5. Once you're standing, change directions by pointing your feet in the direction you want to go and turning your whole body. Avoid twisting at your waist while carrying a load. 6. When you put a load down, use these same guidelines in reverse.
Also follow these lifting tips: Feet First Create a bridge
Carrying the Load Make sure you can see Take small, stable steps Do not twist your back
Taking Shortcuts Potential Hazard: Employees tend to reach across the pallet with a load in the hand rather than walk around a pallet. This prevents keeping the load close to the body and adds significant stress to the shoulders and upper back.
Unexpected Exertions Unexpected exertions can happen when: A box weighs more than expected. The box falls apart, creating the need to perform quick and unexpected actions to save the load. Boxes stick together and additional force is needed to separate the boxes. Poor footing or slippage causes the load to be supported in an unexpected or awkward posture. Quick motions occur while holding the load.
Placing Boxes on Pallets Potential Hazards: Employees repeatedly bend forward at the waist to place boxes on the lowest level of pallets. The heaviest units are placed on the bottom layer for stability. This work process requires employees to lift the heaviest loads using the worst body postures.