Palletizing of Beer Cases

Task
Loading of pallets with cases of beer

Problem
The general body posture risk factors include trunk forward bending and twisting, and shoulder extension. Other risks were the vertical distance of the lift at the destination, increased load to the lumbar spine caused by horizontal distance, and whole body exertions.

Intervention
A redesigned workstation will alleviate same problems. The most effective intervention to improve vertical distance of the lift is the installation of a scissor lift to increase the height of the first tier of cases to a more appropriate lifting zone. Another way to reduce vertical distance reach is to restrict the pallet height to 4 tiers of beer cases. A rotating device under the pallet would reduce the horizontal distance of the lift. Pallets should also be placed at the end of an extended conveyor to increase buffer capacity for performing other job tasks.

Cost
Estimated US $4500.

Evaluation of Intervention

  • Pros
  • Accommodates workers of various heights
  • Minimal asymmetry in moving boxes
  • Reduces carry distance
  • Increasing buffer capacity increases safety
  • Cons
  • Increases the number of pallet being filled per day, which shifts injury to low back

Semi-Quantitative Evaluation of Intervention

  • Reduction of Identified Risk Factor
  • No New Risk Factors Introduced
  • Productivity not Reduced
  • Low Cost
  • Total
  • 2/5
  • 4/5
  • 5/5
  • 2/5
  • 13/20

Other Possible Interventions

  • Design the conveyor to route the boxes to 2 buffer zones, divided by a barrier, for symmetry
  • Install a lift aid to decrease load amount lifted by workers

Acknowledgements
Submitted by Rachael Jones (UC Berkeley) and Claudia Praglin (UCSF)