Mechanical Material Handling: Protection of Property and Surroundings

Protection of Property and SurroundingsMechanical material-handling demands in today’s metalworking facilities are very diverse, but typically include lifting and handling raw materials, in-process components and finished products.

To aid in mechanical material-handling safety, Sentry Insurance has identified the following general measures:

• Define management as being directly responsible for coaching and enforcing safe use practices

• Evaluate overall manufacturing processes to identify unnecessary material-handling demands

• Reduce transport time by using mechanical devices when possible

• Evaluate current production flow for opportunities to reduce bottlenecks

• Consider the material flow/handling impact on downstream departments

• Train staff on proper lifting and material-handling practices

To prevent repetitive motion or strain-related injuries, the use of mechanical equipment is preferred over manual handling by employees. You can help control and manage the insurance risks associated with handling materials mechanically by implementing these tips:

Protection of Property and Surroundings

• Avoid locating workstations or storage racking on the corners of intersecting aisles

• Design aisles wide enough to accommodate two forklifts passing side-by-side

• Install multi-view mirrors on cross-traffic corners

• Keep the floor surface in good repair

• Install properly rated storage racking to withstand the intended load

• Clearly mark traffic paths/routes for forklifts

• Require employees to wear steel-toed shoes wherever material-handling equipment traffic is common

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