Posts Tagged ‘Back Injuries’

Solving Drum-Handling Hazards

July 19, 2010

We received a product bulletin today from Valley Craft concerning their new power Drive Drum Handling equipment and I though it would be a good subject for the blog.  Handling drums is a major problem for many companies. Drums are big, heavy and often full of some kind of chemicals that should not be spilled. I have worked on numerous drum-handling projects over the years, often after an injury has occurred.

A large number of the cases I have seen involved moving drums by hand- 1 or 2 people tip the drum and then roll it slowly where it needs to go. It’s really hard to get a drum off of or onto a pallet. I have also seen a number or injuries caused by moving a drum with a drum dolly. It’s a lot of weight to “break over” so that the load is on the wheels, and this often leads to back, neck and shoulder problems.

You can get an attachment for your forklift that will handle drums with ease, but a lot of companies just don’t have the floor space to operate a forklift in the area where they store and access drums. A simple way to handle drums in limited space is with a Roto-Lift or Roto-Grip from Valley Craft. These machines look like a pallet stacker, but come with an attachment that clamps around the drum to lift it. The straddle style fits on the corner of a pallet, so you can easily lift or place a drum on a pallet. There is also a counterbalanced version, which eliminates the outriggers and makes the lift more maneuverable. Using these lifters make drum-handling a one-person job and greatly reduce the chance of injury, dropping or spilling a drum. The Roto-Lift and Roto-Grip will also rotate the drum so the contents can be dumped.

The new versions are fully powered, so the machine does the pushing during travel. Any operator can move up to 1000 lbs. with the power drive wheels and full hydraulic lift functions. The use of the power drive decreases injury risk by another 50%. These lifts have the added benefit of easy maintenance.


More on Investing in Ergonomic Mats

July 13, 2010


Hog Heaven Mat is Industrial Tough


I actually got some positive feedback for my blog! I had written a blog about the importance of good ergonomic matting and I am going to add a bit more evidence. In the last year, one customer has added 1368 square feet of matting to their building. The cost for these mats has been $9,300. This investment has cost the company less than half of the projected cost of a back injury! 

One of the mats that we prefer is the Hog Heaven mat from the Andersen Company. This mat has as static dissipative nitrile rubber surface, which is resistant to oils and chemicals. It performs very well in Industrial environments. The top is textured for slip-resistance. This mat will not curl or crack and it has four OSHA colored safety borders available. The mat has a gentle bevel around the edges, which removes the tripping hazard created by some mats. It is also safe to use in welding production areas. The National Floor Safety Institute has certified this mat as slip resistant. The mats come in standard and custom sizes, so there are hundreds of configurations. Best of all, the manufacturer faithfully ships standard or custom mats in 5 days or less, so you don’t have to wait long.

We think this mat is the most comfortable one on the market and it a great value. We have a number of Hog Heaven mats that have been in service at customer locations for over 5 years, without a complaint! 


Back-Belts are NOT Created Equal

June 18, 2010

The use of back belts in industrial settings is very controversial. Many companies have tried them and found that they either didn’t help at all, or possibly they made the situation worse. Traditional back belts just squeeze you into an existing poor posture.

Back-A-Line Belts are Not the Same!!

There is one product on the market that is truly different. While most back belts are just “girdles”, the Back-A-Line belt has a light-weight, yet firm lumbar pad that stops pain and promotes good posture, while strengthening muscles and preventing back injury.

There have been over 1000 tests on this belt, from numerous industries and there has never been a bad result!

The best part is that it is truly a no-lose situation. If you will agree to do a simple survey before the use of the belts begins, than one after 30 days, then you have a 100% guarantee. If the Back-A-Line doesn’t significantly decrease back pain, then the manufacturer returns them and pays the shipping too.

We have seen a great deal of success with these belts. I have a customer that calls each time they hire a new person in the warehouse and orders them a new belt. They don’t let any one work without the Back-A-Line!

The question is not if the Back-A-Line will decrease pain and injury or if you will get a good return on investment, but how great results will be? If you prevent one injury or decrease the discomfort for even one worker, the
ROI will be positive.  It’s a no-lose proposition.