Workplace Ergonomics and Caster Technology Blog

Push / Pull Injuries Impact the Whole Body, Not Just the Back

Push / Pull Injuries Impact the Whole Body, Not Just the Back

When we talk about pushing and pulling as potential causes of manual material handling (MMH) injuries, we tend to focus on low-back injuries. This is not without good reason; back injuries and back pain are both prevalent and expensive. Shoulders and knees are also at risk of workplace injuries due to poorly designed carts. Although less frequent, shoulder and knee workplace injuries can cost companies the same or more than back injuries.
ErgoExpo Webinar: Effective Ergonomic Design of Manual Material Handling Carts

ErgoExpo Webinar: Effective Ergonomic Design of Manual Material Handling Carts

An increasing portion of manual material handling involves pushing and pulling. Yohann Printer and Tom Albin will discuss designing carts to keep manual operating forces within safe, recommended limits to reduce risk of injury and to facilitate operational efficiency. They will also cover a new clarification of the ISO 11228-2 force measurement protocol, which is intended to facilitate direct comparison of cart design factors’ effect on operating forces. Cart design factors to be covered will include visibility, handle height, operating forces, caster selection and caster placement. Finally, you’ll hear case studies of the effectiveness of employing good ergonomics in cart design. Webinar takeaways • Illustrate how cart design impacts back and shoulder injury risk during MMH tasks • Use task analysis to understand MMH task requirements • Optimize cart designs for both the task and the user • Gain practical guidelines for cart design Register now for this free webinar!
Workplace Ergonomics: Cumulative Stress & Back Injuries

Workplace Ergonomics: Cumulative Stress & Back Injuries

Cumulative stress to the spine plays a key role in assessing risk of occupational back injuries. Back pain and back injuries cost companies in the US more than 100 billion US dollars per year, in terms of both treatment costs and in lower productivity. An effective ergonomics program that identifies and reduces all Manual Materials Handling (MMH) risk factors is a key component of any effort targeted at reducing the cost of injuries. Recently experts have suggested that, as employers recognize and reduce the risks associated with lifting, attention in MMH work has shifted towards reducing the risk associated with pushing and pulling activities. Key to the analysis of push and pull forces has been the determination of maximum acceptable forces, which have been determined by either psychophysical methods or biomechanical methods.
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?
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
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