Safety should be front-of-mind for all businesses. Being healthy and safe means being free from both physical and psychological harm, and while you may be doing all you can to create a safe environment for your teams, without the right equipment you could be putting them at risk.
This October is National Safe Work Month, a great reminder that we should all be planning and implementing work health and safety procedures not just now, but all year round. As Safe Work Australia puts it, think safe. work safe. be safe.
Musculoskeletal Disorders, the silent workplace injury
While workplace injuries that occur suddenly — like a load falling on an employee — are critical to prevent, having a safe work environment also means reducing the risk of injuries that occur over time. Musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) can affect muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, peripheral nerves, and supporting blood vessels. They can be caused by a single event or more commonly, they can form from cumulative exposure to one or more hazards over an extended period of time.
Physical demands are the most obvious work-related cause of WMSDs, but organisational factors can also increase the risk of this disorder as well. The way in which tasks are combined to make whole jobs, a high workload or even work to rest rate ratios can all be contributing factors that slowly build towards forming WMSDs.
According to a La Trobe University report, although the number of WMSD related claims has decreased in recent years, they still make up the majority.
The health and safety of your staff is paramount, so how can you help reduce the chances of them getting injured or developing WMSDs?
The Manual Past
Efficiency and safety has certainly improved since the introduction of pallet jacks in the 19th century. Over the years, the design has evolved to help reduce the toll on the operator’s body, whilst also increasing efficiency. Using a manual pallet jack daily can be strenuous on the body, leading to some negative long term effects, plus it carries a higher risk of injury and accidents on-site.
Some risks of injury include:
- WMSDs caused by repetitive actions of stopping, pulling, pushing, lifting, pumping and twisting while using the jack.
- The inability to stop the jack immediately if there’s an urgent need to do so — it takes time and is completely reliant on the operator’s strength
- Difficulty in controlling the speed of the jack on an incline or decline — which again relies on the strength of the operator.
Manual pallet trucks have been tried and tested for decades, but with the ever increasing demand on material handling, businesses need to review their operations to ensure they are future-proofed — not just for productivity but for safety as well.
The good news is, the future is already here, and it’s electric. With electric pallet trucks now available at highly affordable prices, why wouldn’t you make the switch? Learn more about the advantages of switching to electric pallet trucks in our animation below.
The Future is Electric
As you strive to make your workplace safer, it’s important to ensure that the equipment you use meets your safety needs. Switching over to electric pallet trucks has many health and safety benefits.
Powered traction and lift: Reducing the chances of accidents as well as muscular-skeletal strain on the operator’s shoulders, neck, and back
Speed control: Allowing the operator to easily manoeuvre over inclines and declines with total control and very little physical stress on their body
An automatic park brake: Preventing the truck from rolling away even when the operator takes their hands off the tiller handle
More stability: Thanks to the five points of ground contact
Prevents injuries: Thanks to a foot cover that stops the operator from rolling the truck back onto their own feet
Plus, another added benefit is enhanced security thanks to a built-in key switch. This ensures only trained keyholders can operate the truck, and it prevents the truck from being easily stolen.
So this October, remember to Think safe. work safe. be safe.
Ensuring your workplace is operating as safely as possible makes for a happier, healthier team as well as a cost efficient and productive operation.
If you’re looking to make the switch from manual pallet jacks to electric, and you want to learn more about the MT15 electric pallet truck featured in our animation, contact us by clicking the button below. Our team is here to support you in building a safe and healthy workplace.