Ergonomics done right.®
March 1st, 2017

The Bottom Line: Mechanical Lifting Devices: Why Aren’t They Used?

Humantech ergonomist Blake McGowan shares the findings of a study that compared manual lifting to using a material handling device in this installment of The Bottom Line. He also offers suggestions on what management can do to encourage use of the equipment.

The findings include:

  1. Using a device reduces force on the hands, shoulders, and low back.
  2. Using a device is not effective in reducing awkward postures or wasted motions.
  3. Using a device is not very efficient as it requires  more time to retrieve and place the unit in the required destination.

To learn what management can do to encourage use of the equipment, watch the video.

Nussbaum MA, Chaffin DB, Stump BS, Baker G, Foulke J.  (2000).  Motion times, hand forces, and trunk kinematics when using material handling manipulators in short-distance transfers of moderate mass objects.  Appl Ergon. 2000 Jun;31(3):227-37.

Nussbaum MA, Chaffin DB, Baker G.  (1999).  Biomechanical analysis of materials handling manipulators in short distance transfers of moderate mass objects: joint strength, spine forces and muscular antagonism.  Ergonomics. 1999 Dec;42(12):1597-618.