Keeping employees safe on the job in manufacturing and distribution operations is the top priority of every operation. Yet one of the most common reasons for workers’ compensation claims are back injuries—including those associated with repetitive lifting of light loads. Indeed, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports that back injuries cost American industry anywhere from $10- to $14-billion in workers’ comp costs annually. On top of that, nearly 100 million work days are lost due to the same cause every year.
One approach to cutting those statistics (and costs) is to consider utilizing overhead handling technologies to lift, move and position loads. Systems such as overhead cranes, overhead hoists, jib cranes or monorails protect employees in three ways:
- Improved ergonomics. Whether a load is 50 pounds or 50 tons, overhead handling systems do the heavy lifting. This prevents workers from physical injuries caused by manually lifting, pushing or pulling heavy loads.
- Use Of Overhead Space. Overhead lifting systems are restricted to a specific area and operate in overhead space. This limits employee exposure to potential accidents caused by floor-based load movement technologies navigating through tight spaces.
- Predictable travel paths and speeds. Unlike manually operated load handling carts and motorized vehicles, overhead lifting systems travel in a predictable path at steady, controlled speeds to maximize productivity. Additionally, integrated safety devices, such as audio and visual alarms, alert workers to the system’s use.
Want more details about the advantages of overhead handling systems deployed in manufacturing and distribution operations? MHI’s Overhead Alliance—comprised of the Crane Manufacturers Association of America (CMAA), the Hoist Manufacturers Institute (HMI), and the Monorail Manufacturers Association (MMA)—details 13 different ways these lifting solutions benefit facilities in the free publication, “Expand Your Possibilities. Discover the Potential. Choose Overhead Lifting.”