Productivity is top of mind for warehouse managers, but moving more pallets per hour should never come at the cost of safety or your operators’ needs. Plus, keeping your operators happy reduces turnover and the cost of retraining new employees.
So, what is it that operators want most? Simply put, new equipment.
AN AGING WORKFORCE
Operators are getting older. “Today, there are about 25 million people over 55 years old in the workplace. By 2025 that number will rise to 32 million people,” Jim Galante, director of business development at Southworth International Group and chairman of the Ergonomic Assist Systems & Equipment (EASE) Council, told Modern Materials Handling Magazine in a recent interview.
With the aging of the material handling workforce, employers are seeing a rise in workers’ compensation claims citing back injury or back pain from driving a forklift.
Material handling equipment manufacturers, like Hyster, have responded to the issue by designing forklift features with operator comfort in mind. New forklifts are engineered to reduce vibrations, lessen noise output, increase visibility, and reduce strain.
Hyster lift trucks are quieter than ever with new cooling on demand technology, engineered to reduce noise output. These updates are beneficial for operators’ hearing and create a safer warehouse where equipment operators and other employees can communicate clearly in a quieter environment.
Forklift seats from Hyster continue to improve with suspension advancements that reduce Whole Body Vibration (WBV) to less than 0.60 m/sec2 and multi-position adjustments to enhance operator comfort and visibility.
Other visibility improvements include the figure eight mast tubing design, which allows operators to easily see the load in forward or reverse without having to extend their necks in uncomfortable positions.
Remember, a happy operator is a productive operator. While there is an upfront expense to replace old equipment, most warehouses find an uptick in productivity, a reduction in turnover, and fewer workers’ compensation claims, making the investment well worth the cost. To speak to a material handling equipment expert about ergonomic forklift models, visit your nearby Hyster dealer, Papé Material Handling.