Tips to make Material Handling Safer

Material handling is a fundamental requirement for any logistics and manufacturing project. The material handling process involves moving the material inside the workplace or between the vehicle and the workplace using manual, automated, and semi-automated equipment. Thus, material handling plays a vital role in every warehouse, retail store, and manufacturing plant.

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Material handling is a risky task, particularly using manual equipment. During lifting, carrying, and pushing, operating employees may get injuries that result in additional medical costs, a decline in productivity, and hurting the employee’s confidence. Therefore, the company must take every possible preventive measure to avoid any accident related to material handling.

Read the following safety tips to minimize material handling injuries and make the process safer.

1. Use of Protective Equipment

One way to protect operating employees during material handling is by providing them with personal protective equipment. Commonly, workers get injured while moving materials. Still, this risk can be minimized by offering them some protection, such as helmets, gloves, eye protection, steel-toed safety boots, etc.

2. Equipment Upgradation

The kind of equipment you use impacts your employees’ safety and affects your company’s productivity and profitability. By using advanced equipment, you can minimize manual material handling risks. For example, instead of moving material manually, it is better to use conveyor belts and forklifts.

3. Control Noise

In most factories and manufacturing plants, it is common to find noise and vibration problems that adversely impact employees’ hearing and lead to irritation and fatigue. To control vibration and noise in the work environment, the company should consider using equipment that can help reduce noise and vibration problems, like introducing wheel materials, shock-dampening casters, and softer wheels to reduce noise and g-forces on a wheeled cart.

4. Check for Ergonomic Risk Factors

In most cases, when material handling is done manually, employees experience excess physical fatigue, which leads to injuries. These are known as ergonomic risk factors. In addition, when employees have to do frequent heavy lifting and exertion work, it often leads to accidents. Therefore, the organization must spot and control all such ergonomic risk factors to protect employees from risks and accidents.

5. Take note of your Employees’ health

Any sign of physical exhaustion and fatigue on the part of employees must not go unnoticed. Accident risks are much higher in manual material handling tasks. Apart from these risks, the daily manual work impacts the overall health of the workers. Therefore, if your employees report any signs of fatigue, it is a must on your part to take the necessary measures to prevent any serious problems.

6. The Right Equipment to make the process safer

The type of equipment you choose makes all the difference. Using the right equipment is recommended to make the process faster, more efficient, and safer. Manual material handling has many drawbacks, making the process risky, time-consuming, and laborious. Numerous material handling equipment is available, like shelves, racks, pallets for storage, and trucks, silos, drums, and grain elevators, for handling bulk materials. For taking heavy loads, conveyor belt systems are the best option. Therefore, efficient material handling helps streamline your operation, increase productivity, and provide a safe working environment.


Writer. Extreme twitter advocate. Hipster-friendly food expert. Internet aficionado. Earned praised for my work analyzing Yugos for the government. Spent 2002-2008 short selling glucose with no outside help. Spent several months developing strategies for xylophones in Ocean City, NJ. What gets me going now is supervising the production of cod in Cuba. Spoke at an international conference about supervising the production of inflatable dolls in Hanford, CA. Spent two years short selling cabbage in Tampa, FL.