How to set up an ergonomic workplace for comfort and efficiency

Full time workers are at work for approximately 38hrs/week, so it needs to be a safe, comfortable, practical and ergonomic environment. A team leader who puts the safety interest of his/her team members first has the key to achieving both physical protection and efficient production.

Forklift safety and training is an important part of creating a healthy workplace environment. Forklifts are often operating in confined spaces or areas with a lot of foot traffic while maneuvering heavy or bulky loads. A quick search of the internet will reveal a list of forklift accidents in Australia over the last few years – many of which could have been prevented by installing the necessary equipment for the operator and adequate safety strategies. Safety isn’t an option: it’s a must.

Forklifts are an essential tool in many workplaces. One of the main challenges facing forklift drivers is the physical impact of poor posture and strain on the spine while reversing the vehicle. Forklift operators spend a lot of time sitting and twisting, experiencing extended periods of continuous pressure on the lower back and strained muscles from vehicle vibration and jolting. Forklift drivers can be put at risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders (MSD), with symptoms of fatigue, lower back pain, and reduced movement in their arms, lower back, upper back, neck or shoulders. If left untreated, musculoskeletal disorders have the potential to develop into severe pain, limited physical movement and eventual inability to work.

Aside from the physical rigors of twisting and turning while reversing the forklift, the driver may also have a restricted view. Without the proper training and safety measures, these conditions can create a dangerous environment. If the forklift operator has restricted rear vision when reversing, the drivers’ level of experience may not necessarily prevent a mishap – especially when operating the vehicle in confined spaces such as warehouses or storage yards or when shifting heavy, bulky loads.

We’ve identified potential issues, are there solutions?

Linde has many outstanding safety features that help create an environment and culture of safety in work environments. One solution that helps address some of the concerns we’ve outlined above are rotating cabins. By using a workstation with 90° rotations, it’s possible for forklift operators to drive their vehicles with minimal physical strain and discomfort, while achieving clear, all-round visibility. An adjustable seat control console allows for ease of operation. No more twisting, turning, straining or simply guessing and hoping for the best…!

As a business owner, you want the working environment to be both safe and productive for your employees – it’s your obligation. When it comes to production, loss of precious work time due to illness and injury are both frustrating and expensive. Providing staff with ergonomic solutions to everyday issues means enhanced efficiency and minimum loss of working days due to injuries. Higher productivity; lower stress levels; happier staff; happier you!