Traffic Safety Cone Storage

Task
Traffic safety cones are repeatedly taken on and off trucks for use at street maintenance and construction sites.

Problem
Traffic safety cones typically weigh 5-12 lbs. (2-5 kg) and are often stored on the truck on vertical shafts, making them difficult to load and unload. In traffic light and sewer repair projects, it is common for 30 cones to be deployed at each location. Risk factors include repetitive gripping and awkward postures, especially of the shoulder (flexion of 128-138 degrees).

Intervention
A hinge was installed on the base of the shaft so that it would pivot to a nearly horizontal position when the cones were being loaded or unloaded. This reduced shoulder flexion to 30-42 degrees and improved the hand and wrist position as well

Cost
Estimated US $50 in parts

Evaluation of Intervention

  • Pros
  • Significant improvement in wrist and shoulder posture
  • Reduces grip force as a percent of maximum voluntary contraction.
  • Eliminates overhead lifting
  • Cons
  • Some trucks may not have enough available space for hinged base.
  • Workers have to remember to secure shaft in vertical position before driving away from site

Semi-Quantitative Evaluation of Intervention

  • Reduction of Identified Risk Factor
  • No New Risk Factors Introduced
  • Productivity not Reduced
  • Low Cost
  • Total
  • 5/5
  • 4/5
  • 5/5
  • 5/5
  • 19/20

Other Possible Interventions

  • Store cones on a horizontal or diagonal shaft, with a cap to secure them while truck is in motion.

Acknowledgements
Submitted by Ira Janowitz, UC Ergonomics Program