Material Handling Safety

Is your working environment set up as a dangerous situation? Ask yourself the following questions. Do you have safety systems set up at your place of employment? Is there safety training preparing you on the potential dangers at your workplace? Are evaluations made to your working environment to determine if hazards are accessible in your place of employment? On the off chance that you answer no to any of these inquiries, your workplace is in need of some safety upgrades.

How should I pick this box up???

The handling and storing of materials contain an assortment of procedures, hoisting material, driving trucks stacked down with material, carrying bags or materials manually; and stacking palletized materials. The proficient handling and storing of materials is critical. Improper handling and storing methods can frequently bring about risks resulting in costly injuries. This is bad for managers and their workers.


Education and Training

Education and training can decrease workplace accidents involving the moving, handling, and storing of materials. Safety rules incorporating proper work practices, in addition to education about the potential risks connected with every undertaking and how to avoid them, can effectively reduce costly injuries and provide a much safer workplace. Employees should also be made aware of the mishaps from unsafe or improper handling of equipment. Workers can be trained to minimize the occurrence of preventable accidents. Employers and employees should be proactive and analyze their work environments to identify any dangerous or unhealthful conditions, practices, or equipment and take corrective action at the earliest opportunity. The layout of work areas can be arranged to counteract awkward postures such as bending, twisting, and overreaching. Aisles and passageways need to remain clear to prevent injuries from tripping or falling.


Work Related Injuries

Work injuries like back injuries, strains and sprains, fractures and cuts and bruises can and ought to be lessened. Hazards from falling objects, because of improperly stacked materials and equipment or from physically moving materials can likewise be reduced from incorporating proper safety procedures and by obtaining knowledge of the potential dangers that can happen.

The following is a guide for preventing injuries when manually lifting, the S.M.A.R.T.
Lifting Techniquesafe lift
• Size up the load
• Move the load as close to your body as possible
• Always bend your knees
• Turn your feet in the direction that you want to move the load, to avoid unnecessary bending, twisting, and reaching.



Wearing Protective Equipment

Additionally workers should wear the appropriate personal protective equipment and use proper lifting techniques to prevent injuries. The following protective equipment prevents needless injuries when manually moving materials:
• Hand and forearm protection, such as gloves, for loads with sharp or rough edges.
• Eye protection, (safety glasses or goggles) to protect from flying debris, dust, chemical burns, severe eye injury or even blindness.
• Steel-toed safety shoes or boots to prevent foot injuries if an employee slips or accidentally drops a load.
• See OSHA’s booklet, Personal Protective Equipment (OSHA 3077), for additional information.


Powered and Non-Powered Equipment

A few options to use for manual lifting when more strength is required for heavier loads, is to utilize equipment to help with lifting and handling. Non-powered equipment such as a hand cart, platform truck, scissor-lift, drum dolly, hand truck, hand pallet truck, or a portable hoist or jib crane. Additionally you can use powered equipment in place of non-powered equipment. Use a stacker, a powered hand truck, a forklift, a crane, a pallet truck, a tilter, a drum lifter, or a portable gantry or jib crane fitted with an electric hoist. This equipment gives support while counteracting workplace injuries.

By including the greater part of the above into your work plan, you will be giving your workplace the material handling safety upgrade it needs, to ensure the safety of your workers and lessen your work place injuries. Subsequently the next time you are asked the question: Is your working environment set up as a dangerous situation? You can certainly react with a resonating no! As you will now have material handling safety systems in your working environment.


Do you have some other thoughts on systems to include or stories about hazardous conditions? We would love to hear from you. In the event that you need safety equipment please contact us and we will set you up with the gear you need to offer security from the dangers you or your worker’s face every day.



Web Sites
1. UNL Environmental Health and Safety. Safe Operating Procedure. (Created 11/03; Revised 6/07)
(Revised 5/13).

2. Stony Brook University. Environmental Health and Safety. Standard Number: 1910.132-136

3. OSHA, Occupational Safety and Health administration. OSHA 2236. 2002 revised.

4. Occupational Safety & Health Organization (OSHA). Ergonomics eTool: Solutions for Electrical Contractors. 12 January 2012.

5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Ergonomic Guidelines for Manual Material Handling. 12 January 2012.

6. Health and Safety Executive. Getting to Grips with Manual Handling. http:// INDG143 revised) September 2011. 12 January 2012.


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