An Objective Set of Guidelines for Pushing and Pulling
This document describes the development of a new set of objective guidelines for pushing and pulling tasks that help to reduce the risk of workplace injury to the low back and shoulders.
These were developed from a partnership between The Ohio State University and the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation.
A free tool to evaluate and design safe pushing and pulling is available online.
How to Develop and Manage an Ergonomics Process
An ergonomics process is a plan in which a facility gathers all relevant information on work organization, employee capabilities and limitations, and work-related MSDs, to develop solutions to better accommodate these employees and reduce MSD rates and their associated costs.
This approach, as detailed in this document, has been successfully applied in many industrial environments and has been shown to reduce workers' compensations costs from 36% to 91%.
A Best Practices Guide for the Reduction of Musculoskeletal Disorders in Food Distribution Centers
For each type of distribution system, control strategies are identified and discussed. Chapter IV identifies engineering controls, and Chapter V addresses administrative controls. These control strategies were identified through observation at various DCs, as well as being based on ergonomics principles.
Engineering controls are the preferred control strategy, as these controls can permanently reduce or eliminate the hazards associated MSDs. Engineering controls discussed include, among others, changes to the product (e.g., work with suppliers to decrease the weight of the heaviest products, adding handles to the cases), and strategies for changes in slotting (e.g., converting to more full slots, especially for heavier product and faster moving product, using risers or other methods to raise the pallets off the floor to reduce bending when selecting an order).
Administrative controls are secondary in preference, as they typically do not completely eliminate the hazards. Administrative controls identified, among others, include the use of job rotation to allow more varied activities, reducing overtime on regular work days, and providing training to employees on safe work practices. Finally, issues regarding medical management are discussed, with strategies aimed at adequate and prompt medical attention and return-to-work strategies.
Many DCs have safety and health programs in place, and several of these may address components of the ergonomics process identified in this document. Therefore, it is not the intent of this Guide to completely revamp existing programs, but to instead enhance the safety and health of the food distribution industry through the application of observed best practices and application of ergonomics principles.