Defined as the use of automated or semi-automated processes to move and/or manipulate objects between two locations, material handling solutions have become an essential tool used by manufacturing companies. A common example of a material handling solution is a forklift. Even if two or more workers can physically lift a heavy load themselves, using a forklift expedites the process. Another example is the use of material handling magnets. These high-powered magnets are attached to lifting machines that lift and manipulate heavy loads. So, how can manufacturing companies benefit from using material handling solutions such as these?
Protects Goods From Damage
For starters, a material handling solution can protect a manufacturer’s goods from damage. When human workers are forced to lift and transport goods by hand, it increases the risk of damage. A worker may drop the product, for instance, damaging or destroying it. Material handling solutions like forklifts, heavy lifting devices and magnets can protect goods from such damage.
Lower Risk of Worker Injury
Perhaps the greatest benefit of material handling solutions is a lower risk of worker injury. Manufacturing workers experience higher rates of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) than workers in most other industries. As explained by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), MSDs are injuries that affect the body’s nerves, blood vessels, ligaments, muscles and tendons. Workers who are forced to manually lift and transport heavy loads often suffer from MSDs like back pain. Opting for a material handling solution, however, can protect workers from MSDs and other related injuries. Rather than manually lifting a heavy load, the worker can use a material handling solution to lift it. The worker simply controls the lifting solution, instructing it to perfect the lifting or manipulation task.
In addition to protecting goods from damage and lowering the risk of worker injury, material handling solutions promote a higher level of productivity in the workplace. Manufacturing workers often experience fatigue when manually lifting heavy loads, but a material handling solution takes this burden off their shoulders.
Increased Worker Satisfaction
Finally, material handling solutions can yield increased worker satisfaction in the manufacturing industry. Workers may become dissatisfied if they are forced to manually lift and manipulate heavy loads. With a material handling solution, they’ll have an easier time performing their job, which results in a higher level of satisfaction. These are just a few reasons manufacturing companies should invest in a material handling solution for their workplace.