Material Handling Tips for a Safer Work Environment
What material handling tips can lead to a safer working environment?
- Reduction of ergonomic risk factors
- Wearing of protective gear
- Regular maintenance of equipment
- Following a strict schedule
- Using the appropriate equipment
Material handling in itself is a task that is accompanied by numerous risks, especially when you do all of it manually. That being said, safety is undoubtedly one of the most important aspects of any business, particularly those found in manufacturing and retail. Neglecting safety can easily cause injury for not just the workers, but all of the people in the working environment! In the Philippines, forklifts are the go-to machine for making material handling tasks safer and more stable. However, there are still many safety procedures that need to be strictly followed by operators.
There are 5 basic tasks that are related to manual material handling: lifting, pushing, carrying, lowering, and pulling. An employee that is tasked to do these activities is prone to overexert themselves in one way or another. This is why forklifts of different shapes and sizes are used by many storage facilities. But even when these machines are there as an instrument for material handling, accidents are still relatively common to those who don’t know how to do material handling properly.
With that in mind, here are a few material handling tips that can ensure a safer work environment!
Reduce Ergonomic Risk Factors
These factors consist of a few problems that cause unnecessary and hindering physical fatigue in employees. It is predominantly evident with those people who do not properly understand the correct way of handling materials.
Take into account occurrences such as stressful postures when your employees are handling materials by twisting or bending. Repetitive tasks such as reaching and lifting, and forceful exertions like carrying heavy loads.
Once you’ve identified these ergonomic risk factors, you should then consider how you can minimize it to keep your employees physically fit and away from unnecessary fatigue.
You can implement policies that prevent employees from activities that can contribute to having high fatigue. Another way would be to educate your employees on the right way to do things. Lifting and carrying things is not as easy as looks. It requires a few vital movements in order to be as efficient and safe as possible!
Wear Protective Gear
Providing your employees with the correct protective equipment will greatly minimize the chance that they’ll get injured. Whether they’re handling material manually or with different equipment. Much like how it’s a requirement for the operators of heavy construction equipment to wear protective gear, it’s also a requirement for those employees that work in storage facilities! Basic protective gear includes helmets, industrial goggles, gloves, and safety boots. These are all required for the protection and safety of all the employees.
Regularly Maintenance Equipment
A big part of the success and efficiency of material handling tasks is the equipment used by the employees. Machines like forklifts in the Philippines and other devices are essential in ensuring an efficient workflow.
With that being said, every little piece of equipment that is used should be well-kept and regularly inspected for faults and problems. Not only does this ensure that the equipment you’re using is always in good condition, but it also updates you on whether or not your equipment is still serviceable. Keep in mind that repairing a broken machine is much more expensive than maintaining one.
Follow a Strict Schedule
Material handling tasks can get chaotic when there’s nobody pointing out the right commands. Create different shifts for when you’re going to focus on shipping and receiving. This makes the whole process more organized, and it lessens the chance of accidents due to disorder. This can also ensure a more efficient workflow because you have a priority per shift!
When everyone is on the same page and under the influence of working based on a schedule that should be followed, they also tend to work more efficiently!
Use the Appropriate Equipment
Machines, gadgets, and tools are created for a specific purpose. Material handling equipment is made for the efficient and safe transfer of goods from point A to point B. It makes things incredibly easier for employees! when used effectively, it erases the need for numerous physical activities that can lead to physical fatigue.
By choosing the right equipment, you’ll make sure that the whole process will be safer, more efficient, and to an extent, faster than when you do things manually!
Tasks that involve material handling can be quite a dangerous undertaking for those who don’t know the appropriate practices in doing so. It’s the same as how operators of heavy construction equipment need to understand every vital detail about the machine and their functions in order to maximize the potential of the equipment.
Material handling personnel must be competent and physically fit in order to survive in the industry. The tips mentioned above should be enough to spark an interest in learning more about the safety that proper material handling can bring to the work environment!