Efficient material handling can help businesses save costs and ensure a continuous flow of resources that can streamline operations. It also ensures that materials are available when needed and prevents costly injuries.
Potential hazards for workers who handle materials
The main concern for workers who handle materials or store them as part of their job is their weight and shape. These are the main contributors for back ache and back sprains as are bending to pick up heavy materials and twisting during a lift.
Besides these, falling material, haphazardly stacked material or heavy equipment that they are either operating or find themselves in the way of.
All of these injuries can be prevented if employees are trained to prevent potential injuries when they are moving materials. These include:
- Bruises and broken bones when struck by heavy material or if they are caught in between pinch points.
- Strains from lifting loads that are too heavy to be lifted by a single person or too large.
- Cuts from falling materials that have been stored haphazardly or by cutting ties incorrectly.
According to EM 385 Material Handling and Storage guide that all government and military contractors should follow:
- All workers have to be trained to use safe lifting strategies.
- All employees are supposed to wear personal protective equipment on sites.
- Materials should not be moved or hung over workers unless proper precautions are taken beforehand.
- Employees should have access to material handling activities for their safety.
In case material relocation is going to be hazardous for workers, devices should be used to control loads that are being handled by hoisting instruments.
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