MHI Solutions - Volume 4, Issue 2 - (Page 119)

SAFER HANDLING Ergonomic Workstations and Height Adjustable Tables Reduce Work Stress BY JEAN FEINGOLD E rgonomic workstations bring the work to the workers by optimizing the fit between people, their tools, the task and their environment. Examples include raising tables or using tilting work surfaces. The goal is to avoid forcing operators to lean over to do their work using a poor posture that could result in low back and/or upper back discomfort, explained Kelly Wehner, president of MHI member BOSTONtec. "Ergonomic workstations are designed for the specific type of job duty that is being performed by a worker or assembler," said Kim Tyler, sales manager at MHI member Tiffin Metal Products, Inc. "The main focus is to design the workstation around the task that is being done. Fitting the design of these workstations to the task being performed is the key. This allows for easy movement of the items that are being worked with." Research studies have shown proper workstation design can increase worker productivity from 15 to 25 percent or more compared with the traditional poorly designed fixed bench and shelf approach, Wehner pointed out. Ergonomic design can also substantially reduce operator fatigue, improve safety and increase employee job satisfaction. Difficult lifting, lowering, reaching and similar motions are eliminated or assisted, reducing muscular-skeletal stresses. do with the product while at the station helps develop the design." "Base tables are designed around ergonomic principles and configured to address an application solution," said Wehner. Base units can be configured many different ways using accessories like articulating shelving, monitor arms, keyboard trays, bag and cardboard storage, ball transfer tops, task lights and bins. Application solutions are generally designed in collaboration with the end user and possibly other equipment suppliers with the help of a consultant or integrator. "It is critical the workstation manufacturer and the end use customer understand the application thoroughly so the best solution can be provided," she stressed. "Ergonomic workstations can be extremely powerful if the application is intimately understood, well designed and configured and used correctly." Analyzing what is needed to customize the workstation for the best ergonomic solution typically involves application engineers from the workstation manufacturer who may visit the site. While there, "we always interview the user of the table to understand how they perform their work," Wehner said. "Any application solution will "Ergonomic workstations can be extremely powerful if the application is intimately understood, well designed and configured and used correctly." - Kelly Wehner, president, BOSTONtec Customization available Since every application is different, it may be desirable to choose customized workstations and tables to improve functionality, process, ergonomics and ROI. "A workstation can be customized in any manner that the end user wants," said Tyler. "Focusing on the movement of the items on the workstation and what the worker needs to * MHI SolutIonS 119

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of MHI Solutions - Volume 4, Issue 2

CEO Update
Emerging Technologies Produce Business Benefits and Talent Challenges
Developing a Talent Management Strategy
Collaborating with Education
Love your Supply Chain Career?
The Power of Mentoring
Eleven Ways to Diversify the Supply Chain: Insights from the Field
How Do You Build A Successful Career in Supply Chain?
Donated Equipment Gives High School, Community College Students Hands-On Experience
Industry Focus: Retail
MODEX 2016
2016 MHI Innovation Award to be Presented at MODEX 2016
Industry Trends
Economic Market Analysis
The Jobs, Wages, Output and Taxes of the Supply Chain
Safer Handling
Solutions Group Update
Fulfillment Update
Solutions Spotlight
Scholarship Winners: Where Are They Now?
MHI News
Index of Advertisers

MHI Solutions - Volume 4, Issue 2