Improving Manual Material Handling

Alternatives 4. Use Powered Equipment

Use a stacker.

This stacker is well suited for moving loads up to 3,000 pounds for short distances   This stacker is fitted with a special drum-handling attachment   Stackers can be fitted with specially shaped forks to handle round or cylindrical containers

Use a powered hand truck.

This is a powered two-wheel hand truck designed for climbing stairs  

Use an airball table.

An airball table makes it easier to slide containers, thereby reducing workers' efforts  

Use a forklift.

A forklift moves pallets long distances   Special attachments are available for removing cartons layer by layer

Use a crane.

A portable gantry crane fitted with an electric hoist   A workstation crane fitted with a balancer and a vacuum lifter for handling large or heavy containers   A jib crane fitted with an electric hoist and a lifting tong

Use a pallet truck.

Man using a pallet truck   Man using a pallet truck  

Use a lifter.

A manually propelled load lifter carries containers. The power lift raises and lowers containers to the appropriate work height   A drum lifter/rotator can lay the drum on its side. Add a spigot to the drum to empty its contents  
Vacuum lifters can handle sacks and bags that are hard to grip by hand   Vacuum lifters make the handling of large or heavy containers easier  

Some vacuum lifters have two handles and work best for lifts performed below mid-chest height within the power zone.

Use a carousel.

Vertical carousels rotate and present items on shelves or roll out drawers within the worker's power zone
Horizontal carousels rotate and bring items to the worker, eliminating walking and carrying loads  

Use a tilter.

Industrial tilters can improve access to large containers and make handling of materials easier. They can tilt up to 1100, but angles to 450 are most common Some industrial tilters can also elevate so that containers or materials being handled are within the worker's power zone