Have you heard of material handling devices? They've become increasingly common in recent years. According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), nearly 2 million workers sustain an MSD in any given year. Of those injuries, about 600,000 workers require time off as a result of the MSD. Material handling devices, however, can protect workers from MSDs.
What Are Material Handling Devices?
Material handling devices are products that are designed to help workers lift and/or move objects in the workplace. They typically consist of machines or tools. As their name suggests, material handling devices are used to "handle materials." Materials can consist of workpieces, inventory, scraps or other objects. Rather than manually handling them, workers can use a material handling device.
Some of the most common types of material handling devices include the following:
- Pallet jacks
- Hand trucks
- Electric tug
- High-powered lifting magnets
The Benefits of Material Handling Devices
Workers can protect themselves from MSDs by using a material handling device. MSDs are bodily injuries that affect the muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints. They are typically caused by poor ergonomics. If you lift an object in an awkward manner, you may develop an MSD. Lifting boxes by bending your back, for instance, can result in an MSD. Fortunately, there are material handling devices available to lower your risk of MSDs.
With a material handling device, you can easily lift and move objects in the workplace. You won't have to manually lift and move them. For boxes, you can use a hand truck. For pallets, you can use a pallet jack. These are just a few examples of material handling devices. Regardless of the type, all material handling devices simplify the process of handling materials or objects in the workplace.
In addition to a lower risk of MSDs, material handling devices can improve productivity. They allow workers to move objects more quickly. Moving a dozen boxes by hand can be time-consuming. You may have to manually lift each box to move them. A material handling device like a hand truck, though, will streamline this process. You can place all of the boxes on the hand truck, after which can move them all at once.
Material handling devices are a smart investment for nearly all businesses. They are machines or tools that help workers handle materials. Some of the benefits of using material handling devices include a lower risk of MSD and improved productivity.