Studies show that factory workers are at high risk of sustaining cumulative trauma disorders (CTDs) and degenerative joint diseases (DJDs), which account for about 60% of occupational illness. Factory jobs frequently include repetition, high force, awkward joint positions, direct pressure and prolonged constrained posture. Particularly damaging are:
- Overhead work,
- Heavy material handling, and
- Moving “loaded” or weight-bearing joints.
The annual costs associated with CTDs and DJDs are estimated at $563 million. The National Council on Compensation Insurance reported that the average cumulative trauma claim cost was $29,000.
Reducing the Risk
Ergonomic intervention is the most effective treatment. That includes redesigning workstations to eliminate constant bending and reaching and the use of lift assists or other aids to handle heavy loads. Also, employers should reduce the amount of pushing or pulling forces used to move heavy loads. Sustained and heavy overhead lifting must be reduced or eliminated.
Improved ergonomics saves companies time and money. Good ergonomics can:
- Increase throughput and productivity,
- Streamline operations, and
- Solve specific material handling problems.
Align Production Systems has been the leader in ergonomic material handling solutions for over 40 years. Align manufactures equipment that can cost-effectively and productively move and position heavy loads, therefore reducing or preventing CTDs and DJDs.
For example, our Airfloat air bearing products allow a worker to move 1,000 lbs. of load with just one pound of force. Our pneumatic container lifts and tilts eliminate constant bending and reaching as well as overhead lifting. Our bring heavy parts containers to the assembly line worker, rather than requiring him or her to twist or reach for the desired part.
Changing a worker’s high-risk work routine can greatly reduce the frequency of CTD occurrences. Investing in Align ergonomic equipment will yield long-term benefits for companies and workers alike.