MHI Solutions

Safety

SAFER HANDLING: Electric Chain Hoists

Electric Chain Hoists Are a Safe, Ergonomic Solutions for Load Movement in Industrial Facilities

By Jean Feingold—

Electric chain hoists have been mass produced since the early 1900s to lift and lower items in industrial facilities. Even for a relatively low-weight item, say 10 pounds, it is beneficial to use a hoist to prevent operator fatigue if the lifting process is done 50 times per hour during an 8-hour shift, noted Brian Stephens, senior product manager, modular cranes and drives, for MHI Member Demag Cranes and Components Corp.

“Companies with more progressive and stringent ergonomic standards require the use of a lifting device for loads as light as 20 pounds or even less,” said David Butwid, vice president of sales and marketing for MHI member Gorbel® Inc. “As a general rule any load over 51 pounds should not be lifted by a single worker without a lifting device.” The Cal/OSHA Division of Occupational Safety and Health, California Department of Industrial Relations and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health offer guidelines for determining whether manual material handling can be safely used or if a mechanical lifting device, like a hoist, is recommended.

Maximum capacity for electric chain hoists is typically determined by the manufacturer, with the majority of chain hoist units sold in the 2 ton and less range. Above 5 tons, wire rope hoists, which can lift very heavy loads, are more generally used.

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According to the recently released 2018 MHI Annual Industry Report, “Overcoming Barriers to NextGen Supply Chain Adoption,” eight out of ten survey respondents believe these supply chains will be the predominant model within just five years. However, the report found that the adoption of some of these technologies was slower than originally reported when MHI started the annual report in 2014. The report cites three top barriers to adoption of these technologies: 1. Making the business case for NextGen supply chain investments. 2. Tackling the supply chain skills gap and workforce shortage. 3. Building trust and security in digital, always-on supply chains. This issue of MHI Solutions focuses on the adoption of these digital solutions, from best practices in robotics and artificial intelligence to blockchain and innovations in last mile delivery.

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