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  Manufacturing Insights   |   September, 2011
The Obvious Benefit: Automated Lifting Hand Trucks
by Thomas R. Cutler

Automation might be, best measured by the reduced lifting required to perform a task. When heavy lifting is required, more personnel are often required for enhanced safety and pragmatic lifting requirements. A two-hundred pound piece of equipment may require two workers to perform the lifting, repairing, and moving task. When electric hand trucks do the lifting, the task can be performed by one person. These productivity cost-savings, are achieved through simple and effective automation.

"Too often automation is quantified in metrics that miss the obvious," according to Aaron Lamb, inventor of Lift'n Buddy. "Employees repeatedly move products from a delivery truck to a hand truck or stack. Product can be moved, and stacked to shoulder height?it may need to be lowered to ground level. These lifting tasks can be truncated by time and labor required. This simple automation solution, an electric hand truck, also significantly decreases the risk of injury," noted Lamb.

Workforce health and safety is paramount and the data clearly shows that repetitive lifting, lowering, and moving injuries costs North American businesses millions of dollars each year.

Preventing back injuries is a vital aspect of protecting the probability and productivity of a workplace. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates more than one million workers suffer back injuries each year, accounting for one of every five workplace injuries or illnesses.

These back injuries consume twenty-five percent of all workers' compensation claims, costing employers billions of dollars each year. Of these injuries, four out of five were to the lower back, and three out of four occurred while the employee was lifting.

Data reveals that more than one-third of these injuries could be prevented through better job design. Automating these potentially dangerous tasks, significantly reduces the potential for injuries and costly downtime.

Hand trucks, two-wheelers, and lifting devices, have changed little in the past hundred years. Lamb now believes his company has the cost-effective revolutionary mobile lifting device that combines the best of a standard two-wheeler's durability and functionality, with automatic lifting and lowering capabilities. Heavy-duty hand trucks of the past, caused more than one-third of all material handling injuries, whether used in deliveries, moving product in a warehouse, or on the manufacturing plant floor.

Ergologistics manufactures innovative products for the health and welfare of material handling workers. Lift'n Buddy is designed and distributed by Ergologistics, LLC; manufactured in Fargo, North Dakota, the company is a proud member of MHIA (Material Handling Industry of America) as well as the National Safety Council.

Like the National Safety Council, Ergolistics is committed to reducing the number of workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities. Lamb insists, "Improving safety at a company, engages workers across the organization, and adds to the bottom line."

Lift'n Buddy is ergonomically safe and environmentally friendly since the electric hand trucks require no oil, gas, hydraulic fluid, or maintenance of any kind. Completely electric and geared for life, even the battery is 100 % recyclable.

Automation metrics from Overall Equipment Effectiveness to detailed Business Intelligence are useful, however the obvious benefits of converting millions of manual hand trucks to safe electronic lifting machines defines the obvious benefits of automation.

Thomas R. Cutler is the President & CEO of Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based, TR Cutler, Inc, (www.trcutlerinc.com). Cutler is the founder of the Manufacturing Media Consortium of nearly four thousand journalists and editors writing about trends in manufacturing. Cutler is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists, Online News Association, American Society of Business Publication Editors, Committee of Concerned Journalists, as well as author of more than 500 feature articles annually regarding the manufacturing sector. Cutler can be contacted at trcutler@trcutlerinc.com or 888-902-0300. See More Details.

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