One in three injuries to Australian workers is caused by manual handling. Manual handling injuries are not limited to those sustained by lifting or carrying heavy loads. A person can be injured when handling objects in a variety of ways, including pulling, pushing, holding or restraining.
According to the Australian Workers Compensation Statistics 2011-12, the most common of these work related injuries are sprains and strains, accounting for 43% of all serious compensations claims. Between 2000 and 2012, 20% of these serious compensations claims were a direct result of back strains and injuries. In this same time period, 21% of all weeks lost from work were as a result of back injuries.
Safe Work Australia suggests that back injuries are most common in the transport and storage, and manufacturing industries. An effective way to reduce the high rates of back injuries in these industries is to minimise or stop the use of manual hand pallet jacks when moving heavy loads.
Manual pallet jacks can make significant physical demands on operators in confined areas, particularly when heavy loads have to be pulled or pushed using muscle power alone. If moving loads greater then 500kg, then trading in a hand pallet truck for a Mitsubishi battery powered version should strongly be considered.
It is the effort involved in starting and stopping a load that results in most back injuries. Mitsubishi's Forklift Briefing website states that the maximum figure for safely starting or stopping a load is an effort of 20kg for men and 15 kg for women. Testing of hand pallet jacks shows that starting a 500kg load from a stationary position takes an effort of 23.3kg. Increase the load to 2000kg, and the force required is 49.6kg, much greater than the official guidelines recommend. This is why many back injuries occur and many hours of work are lost at great cost to Australian businesses.
While initially more costly than hand pallet jacks electric power pallet movers are a much safer and a more cost effective solution in the long run. With the right equipment specification and operator training, electric power pallet movers will significantly reduce the risk of operator injury, reduce fatigue, improve operator performance and increase the efficiency of the operation.
Workers and machine operators are important assets to an organisation, so why not ensure their safety when handling heavy loads. Mitsubishi PREMIA power pallet movers offer a comprehensive solution to safe horizontal movement of heavy loads, while minimising the risk of back injury prevalent with the use of manual hand pallet jacks.
Acceleration, top speed and braking characteristics are fully programmable to suit each individual's needs. When the control handle is pulled all the way down or up, the truck automatically stops. Furthermore, when the emergency button is activated the truck immediately stops. For tight turning in confined spaces the Mitsubishi PREMIA power pallet movershave a unique "handle-up" operation feature making it ideal for use in containers and the back of trucks.
Avoid back injury and time lost from work. Mitsubishi power pallet movers are sure to make light work of transporting loads, in a safe and easy manner, and help your business avoid contributing to workplace injury statistics.
This article was also published by safetysolutions.net.au.