Heavy Tool Mount

Task
Handling large, bulky tools such as gas-powered tampers on and off trucks for use in construction and street maintenance.

Problem
Tools such as pavement breakers and gas-powered tampers typically weigh 90-150 lbs. (40-68 kg) and are often located on the truck in places making them difficult to load and unload. Risk factors include high forces applied in awkward postures. There are no good hand-holds on some of these tools. This is a high-risk activity even with 3 people performing the lift/lower.

Intervention
A group of construction workers developed and fabricated an arm that extends from the front bumper of the truck. The axis of rotation is offset from the vertical - this allows the arm to descend to pavement level as it swings away from the bumper. The tool can then be "walked" off the supporting plate at the end of the arm. When the crew is finished using the tool, one person can easily slide it onto the plate and push the arm toward the front bumper. The tool gradually rises to bumper height, where it can be secured for transport.

Cost
Estimated US $500 in parts and labor.

Evaluation of Intervention

  • Pros
  • Eliminates reaching and bending to lift or lower tool
  • Substitutes relatively low force pushing and sliding for heavy lift.
  • Cons
  • Depending on terrain or crown of road, tool may not descend fully to surface when arm is extended.
  • Some trucks may not have enough available space on front bumper.

Semi-Quantitative Evaluation of Intervention

  • Reduction of Identified Risk Factor
  • No New Risk Factors Introduced
  • Productivity not Reduced
  • Low Cost
  • Total
  • 4/5
  • 5/5
  • 5/5
  • 4/5
  • 18/20

Other Possible Interventions

  • Hydraulic hoist on side of truck—this would be much more expensive and would take up more space.

Acknowledgements
Submitted by Ira Janowitz, PT, CPE, UC Ergonomics Program