Upfits Designed with Ergonomics in Mind

Ford E 150 vanWork Truck magazine recently ran a great article titled; “Upfits Designed with Ergonomics in Mind.” It addresses common Worker Compensation injuries that may occur around work trucks — specifically from lifting and awkward movements leading to sprains, strains and chronic pain.

The article provides some detailed facts to provide context and highlight the seriousness of these injuries:

The U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OHSA) estimates that work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in the U.S. account for more than 600,000 injuries and illnesses, about 34 percent of all lost workdays reported to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). MSDs are especially prevalent in the transportation and material moving sector, with the third-highest incident rate among all industries in 2011, according to the BLS. And, each reported MSD incident can be expensive to employers, accounting for one out of every $3 spent on workers’ compensation, according to OSHA, which estimates that employers spend as much as $20 billion per year in direct costs for MSD-related workers’ compensation, and up to five times that much for indirect costs, such as those associated with hiring and training replacement workers.

The article provides six key areas where safety teams can get started with engineering changes that reduce the risks of injury:

  1. Recessed Bulkheads/ Partitions
  2. In-Cab Work Stations
  3. Drop-Down Ladder Racks
  4. Adding Steps and Handles
  5. Using Liftgates
  6. Roll Out Cargo Beds

StepVANSEach area can reduce stress, and make lifting and reaching easier on the job.

The print edition of the magazine includes many photographs to provide contextual insight on how these devices work and would help your mobile workforce.

www.worktruckonline.com

 

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Factors to Consider When Upfitting Cargo Vans

This month’s edition of Work Truck Magazine has a great article on key factors to consider when upfitting cargo vans for your operation. Here is a link to the full article:  http://worktruck.epubxp.com/issue/121882/19.

What caught my eye was the fact that out of seven specific recommendations four were safety related.  These factors addressed both ergonomic considerations (making it easy for drivers to access the inventory with as little stress, strain and repetitive motion at odd angles as possible) and driving safety (concerns about the partition between the operators cabin and the cargo area).

In years gone by, many articles like this one would have only focused on productivity or capacity, but there’s been an appropriate shift in emphasis over the decades to integrate safety with operations so that efficiency gains are not offset by injuries.

I recommend Work Truck Magazine to operators of light and medium duty fleets since the online and print editions are FREE to qualifying subscribers and each month’s edition has at least one or two articles of note from a safety standpoint.  To learn more about this periodical, check out their home page at http://www.worktruckonline.com/