Caster Technology Improving Workplace Ergonomics

In the beginning of the 1900s, the first ergonomic concepts to help workers operate more productively were introduced. At the time, industry demanded a great deal of physical exertion from workers. Today, caster manufacturers continue to study human abilities, limitations and other characteristics relevant to product design in hopes of reducing workplace stress and injury.

Recently, the Institute of Caster and Wheel Manufacturers (ICWM) spoke with industry leaders to better understand how caster technology is enhancing workplace ergonomics. “Understanding your ergonomic objective and your sensitivities to risk facilitates selecting the appropriate caster for the application. The right caster will mitigate risk to injury by providing lower peak forces, reduced noise and lower sustained continuous motion,” explained Lui Dilauro, senior global accounts manager with MHI member Darcor.

The seven-year mobility consultant feels that selecting the right caster is imperative to ergonomics, providing safer, healthier and efficient workplaces. “Choosing the correct caster not only performs during its new stage, but also over time. A carefully selected caster will not only mitigate immediate risk, but also manage risk during its life span. With a robust and well-built caster, risk of failure diminishes, and protects the workforce,” concluded Dilauro.

Dave Lippert, president of MHI member Hamilton Caster, feels casters are one of the biggest determinants of the push/pull forces for manually moved carts in the workplace. “Properly selected casters and wheels can minimize the forces required to begin moving a cart and then keep it moving. The key is making the investment to do research to make the proper selection. The best ergonomic casters will likely not be the lowest initial cost. The savings come later, in the form of less worker fatigue and fewer workplace injuries,” Lippert said.

By Stephen Murdoch

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