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OSHA Standards Create a Smart and Safe Work Environment

Designed with worker ergonomics in mind, dynamic storage systems from Kardex Remstar can help organizations implement OSHA Standards by creating a safe and ergonomically friendly work environment.



OSHA Standards focus on designing a safe, productive and efficient work environment. Creating a safe work environment in accordance with the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) Standards can improve ergonomics resulting in an increase in productivity and efficiency and a reduction in labor costs. OSHA Standards should be implemented in all areas of a facility including manufacturing, distribution and administration. Designed with worker ergonomics in mind, dynamic storage systems from Kardex Remstar can help organizations implement OSHA Standards by creating a safe and ergonomically friendly work environment.

OSHA was created by Congress to help enforce health and safety conditions in work environments for women and men alike. These standards protect not only the employees but employers as well. Per OSHA Standards, a work environment must be safe, clean and clear of any potential hazards. To further protect employees, bending, reaching, twisting, stretching or leaning should be minimal. OSHA Standards also include limiting the weight, range of motion and frequency of lifting objects as well as reducing the space between the worker and workstation.

In manufacturing and distribution operations, dynamic storage solutions from Kardex Remstar eliminate fatigue by automatically bringing items to the operator allowing more productivity from the entire workforce regardless of height, comfort level or ability. All stored items are delivered to the worker, eliminating the walking and searching that is often associated with picking parts from standard shelving or drawer systems. In some picking operations, workers can walk miles a day retrieving parts. Worker fatigue can lead to lower accuracy and poor productivity. Delivering items directly to the worker can increase productivity and improve worker efficiency, resulting in a positive ROI quickly.

ROI can also often be achieved quickly through improved worker safety. Eliminating climbing into dark corners of shelving or racks, or climbing over pallets leads to a safer work environment and fewer work injuries. Work related injuries cause employees to be absent from work and increase temporary labor costs and worker compensation claims. Implementing OSHA friendly ergonomic solutions can reduce the number of worker compensation claims and lead to a quick ROI. These reduced costs and increased productivity allows organizations to increase profit generating activities rather than focusing on overhead costs.

OSHA Standards are written with an ergonomic focus. Ergonomics is the science of adjusting an individual's workplace environment to fit the worker. Ergonomic design aims to prevent worker injury due to a job or task required, saving organizations lost work hours and worker compensation expenses due to injury.

All Kardex Remstar systems can improve ergonomics and make stored goods 100% accessible for all operators. The Shuttle Vertical Lift Module (VLM) and Megamat RS Vertical Carousel both have access points positioned for ergonomic picking. With the simple push of a button stored goods are delivered to the golden zone (the area between the shoulders and knees) eliminating the bending, reaching, twisting, stretching and leaning that the OSHA Standards seek to minimize when completing a job or task.

An ergonomic hoist can be integrated with these dynamic storage solutions to prevent workers from lifting heavy materials. Repeatedly lifting heavy materials can cause strain and can lead to worker compensation claims. By implementing a hoist, the machine does all of the work, reducing the repetitive lifting and reaching motions that the OSHA Standards identify as harmful. Ergonomic hoists combined with carousels and VLMs keep employees healthy and at work, further reducing injuries or lost work hours.

The administration area should not be overlooked when reviewing OSHA compliance. Bending, reaching, twisting, stretching, leaning and heavy lifting can be prevalent in administration areas as well. The Lektriever Electric Lateral File (ELF) can be used to create a safe and productive administration work environment. Used to store all file types, media and other various light duty administration goods, the Lektriever ELF rotates like a carousel to deliver stored goods to the operator. This system not only requires a smaller footprint than traditional filing cabinets, recovering up to 70% of floor space, it also keeps the stored goods secure.

The Lektriever ELF has an optional electric work counter that can be adjusted to accommodate all operators. It is quite simple. The push of a button moves the counter up and down until a desired comfort height has been reached, from sitting to standing and anywhere in between. The electric work counter can eliminate bad posture and poor ergonomic conditions which can lead to reduced productivity and unnecessary sick days. The electric work counter helps to eliminate the repetitive bending, reaching, twisting, stretching, leaning and lifting identified in the OSHA Standards, allowing 100% accessibility to all workers, whether sitting or standing.

OSHA provides detailed guidelines on creating a comfortable and safe work environment for both the employer and its employees. Implementing OSHA standards can not only lead to a safer work environment, but also provide increased productivity and improved ergonomics. Kardex Remstar solutions provide full ergonomic access for all employees, while assisting organizations in meeting OSHA Standards.

Kardex Remstar, LLC, a company of the Kardex Group is a leading provider of automated storage and retrieval systems for manufacturing, distribution, warehousing, offices and institutions. For information on the Lektriever ELF, call 800-639-5805 or visit www.KardexRemstar.com.

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