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Understanding Ergonomics in Your Warehouse

In a recent blog post, we discussed safety tips for your warehouse. One aspect that we touched on was ergonomics. Ergonomics is a very important part of safety in your warehouse. Through ergonomics, employers are able to create a safer work environment for their employees by instituting best practices and ensuring that employees are educated about potential hazards. Learn more about what ergonomics are, how they are used in warehouse safety, and what you can do in your warehouse to ensure that employees stay safe.

female worker with protective vest holds package, standing at warehouse of freight forwarding company

What is Ergonomics?

Basically, ergonomics is the study of work, or the way a job is done in a specific workplace. By studying ergonomics, employers can change workplace operations to be better suited to the needs of their employees. For example, employees in warehouses frequently have to lift heavy items, which pose a danger to their physical health. Through ergonomics, the employer can determine how employees should lift objects to minimize the risk of physical danger.

Preventing MSDs

In a warehouse setting, ergonomics is used to prevent musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). MSDs, which affect the muscles, tendons, and nerves in your body, are one of the main causes of workplace injuries. They are caused by a range of risk factors, including heavy lifting, repetitive tasks, pulling and pushing heavy loads, reaching, bending, and working in unusual positions. To prevent MSDs, ergonomics are employed to develop solutions that lessen muscle strain and decrease the amount of work-related injuries while still increasing productivity.

Tips for Employee Safety

By following these tips, you will be able to improve ergonomics in your warehouse and keep your employees safe from workplace injuries:

  • Education: Educate your employees about ergonomics and provide training that is task-oriented.
  • Proper Lifting: Lift properly by keeping your back in a normal position and using your legs. To turn while carrying a load, do not twist; instead, shift your feet by taking a series of small steps.
  • Assistance: Ask for assistance when you need it, and use lift equipment to move products whenever possible.
  • Load Testing: Test loads before lifting to determine the best method, and position the product away from your shoulder at floor height to optimize for manual lifting.
  • Lighting: Provide proper overhead lighting in lifting areas.
  • Eliminating Hazards: Remove hazards from the floor that could cause slipping or tripping.