Workplace Ergonomics and Caster Technology Blog

Ergonomic Trends at ErgoExpo2018

Ergonomic Trends at ErgoExpo2018

The Darcor team just came back from another exciting year at The National Ergonomics Conference & ErgoExpo which was held in late August 2018 in Las Vegas. As always, there were some great presentations and products to see. Ergonomists visiting the Darcor booth remarked that they were excited to see a booth focused on ergonomic products specific to industrial environments. At the Darcor booth, we introduced visitors to our new caster system coming out in the latter half of 2018. It is a positional lock system for casters which allows the operator to engage the lock without bending. The new system features a foot pedal mounted at bottom of cart and is spring-loaded. The pedals can be mounted anywhere on the cart, so it can be positioned in a customized manner to reduce the amount of walking around the cart to find the locking system. The system reduces the need for frequent and repetitive bending, which can be an ergonomic risk.
5 Must-See Sessions at ErgoExpo 2018

5 Must-See Sessions at ErgoExpo 2018

The 2018 National Ergonomics Conference & ErgoExpo is right around the corner. The show is being held August 21-24, 2017 at the Paris hotel in Las Vegas. Over the past 20+ years, The National Ergonomics Conference & ErgoExpo has become one of the premier ergonomics-focused events in the world, with recent focus on safety and workplace ergonomics. Which means that anyone who is looking to improve their industrial safety and ergonomics should consider attending this event or tuning into the ErgoExpo webinars. The Darcor team is looking forward to attending and checking out some of the speakers and sessions scheduled at the ErgoExpo this year. Here are the top 5:
The Hidden Ergonomic Risks of Manual Material Handling Carts

The Hidden Ergonomic Risks of Manual Material Handling Carts

In the management of manual material handling carts, a common hidden and unknown factor is the stability or consistency of operating forces over the life of the cart. Operating forces are those forces necessary to initiate and sustain movement of the cart. Those forces will change as carts and casters wear. This factor can mean risk of injury for the company as, if the operating forces change, the risk of injury to the worker increases substantially. While we have good processes in place to measure the initial and sustained operating forces and to ensure that those forces are within safe limits, we are perhaps less accomplished in utilizing risk management processes to ensure that the required forces remain within safe limits over the course of time. How can we assure ourselves that a cart’s long-term operating forces aren’t hidden and that they remain within the desired performance envelope six months or a year from now?
Healthcare Ergonomics - Caring Enough to Prevent Injury to Those Who Care for Us

Healthcare Ergonomics – Caring Enough to Prevent Injury to Those Who Care for Us

Healthcare workers are dedicated providers of care for people in need around the globe. Unfortunately, in the course of their jobs, they are exposed to a variety of risks and hazards ranging from hazardous materials to work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare worker injuries are a serious issue to be addressed. …employees in nursing and personal care facilities suffer over 200,000 work-related injuries and illnesses a year. Many of these are serious injuries. More than half require time away from work. Worker's compensation costs for the industry now amount to nearly $1 billion per year. Workers in nursing homes are 2x as likely as other workers to be injured on the job. United States Department of Labor – Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) Given their commitment to the well-being of their patients, it’s all that more important that they are provided with protection from injuries. While not all injuries are unavoidable, there are methods of reducing risk of injury to these valuable healthcare providers. Read on for Healthcare Ergonomics Best Practices and Resources...
Industrial Ergonomic Best Practices in Cart Design

Industrial Ergonomic Best Practices in Cart Design

When designing industrial carts for manual material handling (MMH), a primary goal of an industrial ergonomist is to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injuries by keeping the forces required to start, stop and maneuver the cart within recommended safe limits. There are many facets of industrial cart design to consider to keeping cart operating forces within recommended limits – we’ll focus on the two many aspects. Industrial cart handle placement and caster selection/placement are crucial to support industrial ergonomics and reduce workplace injuries.
Current MMH Evaluations may Underestimate Risk from Push and Pull Forces

Current MMH Evaluations may Underestimate Risk from Push and Pull Forces

Current methods of assessing push pull forces in industrial ergonomics are useful, but they need further development as they likely overestimate the safety of push and pull task forces. Back injuries remain one of the most-costly of all occupational injuries. It is estimated that about 10 percent of adults experience back pain severe enough to limit their productivity 25 days or more per year and that workplace lost-time back injuries cost businesses about $460 per employee per year. The physical stresses created by Manual Materials Handling (MMH) are known to play a causal role in back pain and injury, and studies by Snook and Marras et al have shown that using ergonomic analyses of MMH stresses to design reduced-stress MMH jobs reduces the number of injuries that occur. MMH tasks such as manually moving carts are composites of multiple elements: starting movement, sustaining movement, turning, and stopping. Each element applies stress to the individual who exerts forces to perform the task. Risk analysis of MMH such as cart handling must consider the stress created by all the elements of a task, not just starting and sustaining movement. When all MMH elements of a task are considered, the safe forces are likely lower than current assessment techniques suggest.
MHI Solutions Recent Issue Focuses on Ergonomic Industrial Cart and Caster Solutions

MHI Solutions Recent Issue Focuses on Ergonomic Industrial Cart and Caster Solutions

MHI Solutions Magazine recently published an article written by Jean Feingold which focused on ergonomic industrial cart and caster solutions. The article highlights some often overlooked cart and caster ergonomic considerations in the manual material handling industry. Feingold interviewed some leaders in the field of industrial ergonomics including Terry Parmelee of Kinetic Technologies and Lui Dilauro of Darcor Limited, Read on to check out the highlights and read the complete article.
New Methods for Assessing Risks Needed in Industrial Ergonomics

New Methods for Assessing Risks Needed in Industrial Ergonomics

Identifying musculoskeletal injury risk factors associated with MMH is an important component of any industrial ergonomics program that targets the reduction of workplace injuries. MMH tasks are often compound tasks or aggregates of several different tasks. For example, an MMH task might consist of loading boxes onto a cart, pushing the cart to a first location, maneuvering the cart around corners, unloading a few boxes, pushing the cart to a second location, and unloading or loading boxes there. Compound MMH patterns of this type are routinely seen in industrial workplaces. Currently, separate tools are used to individually evaluate each simple component of MMH tasks, such as each instance of lifting, carrying, pushing, and pulling. Applying the tools to a compound task yields several separate risk assessments, e.g. one for the lifting component and another for the pushing component. How should the combination of these individual analyses be evaluated to estimate the risk of injury for the compound task which includes multiple tasks, e.g. both lifting and pushing?
Trending at AEC 2018: Proactive Ergonomics and Leveraging Technologies for Better Workplace Ergonomics

Trending at AEC 2018: Proactive Ergonomics and Leveraging Technologies for Better Workplace Ergonomics

AEC 2018 Highlights Include the ROI of Ergonomics, Creative Improvements to Support Workplace Ergonomics and a Closer Look at Push Pull Guidelines The team from Darcor recently returned from the 2018 Applied Ergo Conference (AEC) in late March in Atlanta. As always, the AEC brought together the greatest minds in the field of ergonomics. These ergonomists and engineers attend the AEC to get the opportunity to cross-pollinate ideas, policies, technologies, advancements in the field of ergonomics. The 2018 AEC was no exception with booths, presentations, exhibits, success stories and the Ergo Cup® Awards all serving the purpose of advancing ergonomics to support reduction in injuries. Read on to find out about ergonomic trends, Ergo Cup awards, and presentation highlights from AEC 2018
Get Ready for AEC 2018!

Get Ready for AEC 2018!

The 2018 Applied Ergo Conference (AEC) is set to run March 26 – 29, 2018 at the Hilton in Atlanta, Georgia. As always, the Darcor team is ready to be inspired by the exciting keynote speakers and workshops. For more than a decade, the Global Organization of Ergonomics (GOErgo) has been bringing ergonomic considerations to the forefront for businesses. More than ever, organizations have become more focused on injury prevention and reducing workplace related fatigue. AEC continues to lead the charge on proactive ergonomics assessment and solutions. Darcor has been proud to be part of the ergonomics progression and has developed the Economics of Ergonomics Guide which will help organizations truly understand the financial risks associated with workplace overexertion injuries and how to assess and reduce that risk by implementing proactive ergonomics programs. As AEC 2018 approaches, the Darcor team has compiled a list of the workshops and speakers we’re most looking forward to see:
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