Technical Papers


The effects of operator position, pallet orientation, and palletizing condition on low back loads in manual bag palletizing operations
Many mining commodities are packaged and shipped using bags. Small bags are typically loaded onto pallets for transport and require a significant amount of manual handling by workers. This specific task of manual bag handling has been associated with the development of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), especially low back disorders. This study evaluates the biomechanical demands of different work layouts when performing manual palletizing of small bags, and evaluates the biomechanical stresses.
Reduction of Spinal Loads Through Adjustable Interventions at the Origin and Destination of Palletizing Tasks
From Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. This article evaluates the effectiveness of two interventions: a self-leveling pallet carousel designed to position the loads vertically and horizontally at origin, and an adjustable cart designed to raise loads vertically at destination to reduce spine loads. Low back disorders among workers in manual material handling industries are very prevalent and have been linked to manual palletizing operations.
A study on warehouse flooring.
Order pickers and warehouse men walk miles every day and what they walk on makes huge difference. This compelling study conducted by Institute for Ergonomics at Ohio State University provides a comparison of tibial shock on four different types of flooring.
Do Back Belts Prevent Injury?
Employers relying on back belts to prevent injury should be aware of the lack of scientific evidence supporting their use. As their use has risen, NIOSH has increasingly been asked for advice on back belt selection. In response to these inquiries, the Institute decided to address a more fundamental question. Rather than ask "Which belt will best protect workers?" NIOSH researchers began with the question--"Do back belts protect workers?"
Workplace Hazards and Prevention Options - Retail Trade Businesses
Employer commitment is a key factor in an effective safety program, yet limited research has focused on the safety priorities of retail store managers. To address this, the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recruited 4 experienced ergonomists, who met and interviewed 9 retailers This the report of their findings.
How Does Safety Stack Up? A Survey of Corporate Financial Decision Makers' Perceptions of safety Performance, Programs and Personnel.
Financial decision makers' view on safety.
Corporate financial decision-makers’ perceptions of workplace safety.
A comparison of workplace safety perceptions among financial decision-makers of medium vs. large-size companies.
Workplace Safety Index, Hopkinton, MA.
The 2012 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index.
Computing Cost Effective Solutions for the Supermarket.
National Safety Council Injury Facts
The latest BLS statistics are out and it is not good news. In 2011 the total cost of occupational injuries was $189 billion. This exceeds the combined profits of the 16 largest companies listed in Fortune 500. Over 50% of those injuries can be attributed to MMH (manual material handling). MMH continues to be the No.1 cause for workplace injuries resulting in lost time.
Warehouse Workers
Behind the gleaming aisles of consumer goods is a world of forklifts, slippery floors, and accidents waiting to happen.


By Michelle Holcenberg
Workplace Injuries & 2010 NJAJ Meadowlands Seminar Guide

By by Wayne D'Angelo
Material Handling: Give Me a Lift
Lifting heavy or bulky objects, such as parts bins and subassemblies, is one of the most hazardous tasks facing assemblers on the plant floor. Fortunately, a wide variety of scissor lifts, tilt tables and other ergonomic devices can improve productivity and minimize the risk of back injury.
By Austin Weber of Assembly Magazine
Integrated Lean Thinking & Ergonomics: Utilizing Material Handling Assist Device Solutions for a Productive Workplace
This White Paper, commissioned by the Ergonomic Assist Systems and Equipment Council (EASE) Council and the Lift Manufacturers Product Group (LIFT) of MHI, was written by two experts on lean and ergonomic issues from the South Dakota School of Mines. The Paper emphasizes the importance of integrating lean and ergonomic concepts with material handling equipment solutions. It provides specific situations in which companies have used material handling equipment to improve and support their lean initiatives while enhancing employee work environments with ergonomic solutions and ultimately improving the throughput process.
Ergonomic Principles from LMPS
Courtesy of The Lift Manufacturers Product Group (LIFT)
Exploring The Myth Behind Stretching Programs
While stretching alone does not appear to be the most effective mechanism for managing work-related musculoskeletal disorders, it does take a step in the right direction to increase awareness concerning the benefits of movement, circulation, and posture.
Industrial Ergonomics Backgrounder
Prepared by the Ergonomic Assist Systems and Equipment Council (EASE) an industry group of MHI. This document gives a general overview and basic understanding of "ergonomics", typical ergonomic injuries, the impact of those injuries on your business and your employees, and solutions. It also discusses training for your workers, available ergonomic assist equipment and what the payoff of establishing effective ergonomic procedures can be to your company.
What's New In Ergonomic Assist Devices?
Jim Galante of Southworth Products Corporation describes in detail the many ergonomic problems and their solutions due to new ergonomic assist devices.
Ergonomics: Maximizing The Human Resource
Every business in industrial America has trembled with the self-doubts which result from the staggering amounts of evidence which conclude that our domestic productivity has not kept pace with foreign competition. In a reaction to this growing concern, an extraordinary amount of attention has been focused on the fields of automation and robotics. Managements have and will continue to invest millions of dollars to renovate plants, control inventories and automate operations. These programs are not only worthwhile but also an absolute necessity if our companies are to remain competitive contributors in the marketplace. However almost completely lost in this race to automate is the need to enhance the efficiency of the workers who populate our factories and warehouse.
Ergonomics and Material Handling: A Taskoriented Assessment of Needs And Solutions Material Handling Applications Using the Lumbar Motion Monitor
As a material handling professional, you are confronted with discovering, evaluating, and implementing improved material handling strategies. Heres a tool that can be used to evaluatethe dynamic motion in a job and its resultant injury risk. This tool, The Lumbar Motion Monitor (LMM), allows you to more accurately predict the onset and severity of back injuries. The LMM can also assist in creating and documenting an improved risk reduction strategy.

by Richard S. Wyatt PH.D., P.E., CPE
Aon Ergonomic Services
Ergonomics and Total Quality Management at L.L. Bean
Like many companies in the mid to late 1980s, L. L. Bean experienced an increase in cumulative trauma disorders, predominantly of the upper extremities and back. As we focused on reducing these injuries/illnesses through an emphasis on ergonomics and other programs (e.g. worksite stretch, physical therapy, education/training, rehabilitation), we also shifted to total quality management as a way of doing business. Many systems internal to L. L. Bean were effected, including job design, performance appraisals, pay, scheduling, and management emphasis, as well as new focus on and accountabilities for health and safety in the productionareas. Through this macroergonomic approach we were able to reduce lost-time injuries by (-61%) and (-94%) in our distribution and manufacturing divisions, respectively, from 1988 to 1993.

by Edward F. Rooney, Manager, Employee Health Management
L.L. Bean, Inc.