Employee health and safety is of paramount importance for every business; there are multiple legal obligations associated with worker health and safety. One area of health and safety which concerns all businesses, whatever their size, is material handling – also known as ‘manual handling’.
Where manual handling of loads has been assessed as hazardous, then the business must comply with The Manual Handling Operations Regulations (1992).
How Industrial Manipulators Can Help Protect Employee Health and Safety
Industrial manipulators play a major part in resolving material handling solutions and can significantly and positively impact ergonomic safety for employers and their employees.
Companies that install industrial manipulators, such as Scaglia Indeva’s range of electronic intelligent devices for handling, have seen a significant and positive impact on ergonomic safety: they have been proven to improve operator wellness, and most importantly – to lower the incidence and severity of injuries associated with manual handling.
Automation of manual handling can greatly reduce the health and safety risks associated with these processes. Scaglia Indeva’s industrial manipulators are equipped with advanced microprocessor technology, which enables operators to lift and move heavy and bulky loads – effortlessly. Some of the key features that benefit the user are:
- The manipulators can be equipped with numerous types of lifting and gripping tools, that retain hold on the load in the event of power failure
- Their light and compact design provides the operator with greater visibility of the work area, and make it easier to manoeuvre the load – even in the most restricted environments
- The auto-weight sensing and auto-balancing features means the operator can handle loads of different sizes and weights without interrupting handling operations
- A special ‘floating’ feature means that the operator is able to place both hands on the load, enabling maximum control and precise load placement
- Quick coupling devices enable lifting and gripping tools to be changed in a few seconds – which greatly enhances productivity
The Impact of Incorrect Material Handling
Incorrect material/manual handling contributes to a significant number of strains and sprains to the back, joints and limbs – and is one of the main causes of these musculoskeletal disorders, especially back pain. The annual statistics published for 2020 by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) illustrate a concerning picture:
- 480,000 workers suffered from a work-related musculoskeletal disorder (new or long-standing, 2019/20)
- 8.9 million working days were lost during 2019/20, due to work-related musculoskeletal disorders
For some industry sectors, there is specific health and safety advice and legislation; however, what is mandatory in all workplaces – of whatever type and size – is that manual handling must be correctly undertaken. This is important not only for worker health protection, but the ultimate responsibility for employee health and safety sits with Company Directors: if legislation and guidelines are breached then this can lead to prosecution and even imprisonment.
Healthier Workforce, Healthier Profits
Industrial manipulators are designed to improve both the performance and the productivity of production and assembly lines. With state-of-the-art safety devices fitted as standard, they also guarantee against falling loads – offering the added advantage of a reduction in damaged products.
This all adds up to enhanced productivity – and naturally this delivers higher profit levels.
Scaglia Indeva has over 50 years’ experience and expertise in designing and manufacturing electronic industrial manipulators. Please contact us on 01246 252 333 to find out how we can help you improve your productivity and profitability, and make managing your employee health and safety easier.