Workers doing manual material handling have the best chance of avoiding injury in workplaces where barrier protection is integrated with ergonomic equipment. In planning or reviewing what safety equipment to use in your plant, look at potential physical risks to workers from machines, slipping and falling and falling debris at the same time as considering ergonomic hazards of the job itself like repetitive lifting, bending, twisting and reaching.
Areas of concern include work cells, large machinery, assembly lines, conveyors, walkways and mezzanines. Examine how workers move through the plant and what they do on their jobs. Here is a typical scenario. A worker enters the building through the plant door, arriving at a walkway where he walks 80 feet, passing an intersection, to a landing. He goes up the stairs to a mezzanine where goods or parts that were delivered by a forklift are stored in racks all the way up to the ceiling.
By Jean Feingold