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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This issue of MHI Solutions tackles the important topic of digital technologies in the supply chain industry, especially as it relates the transportation and logistics. Transportation plays a central role in supply chains, whether they are local or global enterprises. And just like the overall supply chain, transportation is facing a digital revolution including new solutions for tracking road, rail, sea and air freight and parcel transportation. These digital technologies are disrupting the industry, but they are also providing im-portant new solutions for transportation inefficiencies and urban logistics challenges. They are also creating new digital business models that enhance transparency and sustainability and contribute to end-to-end supply chain visibility. Like the innovations impacting supply chains, these trends are being driven by the growth of e-commerce and the consumers’ never-ending need for better, faster and cheaper. Ignoring them is done at your own peril.

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