Retailer discovers ergonomic lifting method

As a cost-effective solution for stacking empty pallets, the solution has improved employee health and productivity.

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A large retail company was looking for a solution to improve its ability to stack empty pallets in full case picking modules that was both ergonomic for its pickers and efficient for its lift truck drivers.

The company employed a product that incorporates an ergonomic lifting method that reduces the stresses of stacking empty pallets for the picker. At the same time, it also squares up every pallet that is lifted into the device, resulting in a perfect stack.

The manual device is made from heavy gauge, powder coated steel and uses no electricity or compressed air, as it is mounted to existing pallet flow rails. The device’s ergonomic lifting method reduces worker fatigue and risks of developing musculoskeletal disorders. The retailer reported a noticeable time savings—as much as 2 to 4 minutes each time a stack was pulled from the picking module.

The device was retrofitted in 200 empty pallet return lanes, thus saving the customer a considerable amount of capital that may have been needed to reconstruct new picking modules to incorporate another method or device. Another benefit was a reduction in the risks of pallet stacks getting hung up on rack frames, which cause pallets to fall from various heights to the floor below.

“There is an ergonomic impact to the picker—reduced time for them to build the perfect stack and reduced time for the forklift operator to pull the stack down,” says a representative of the retail company. “No one will have to worry about twisted or bad stacks getting hung up on the rack frames, eliminating a possible risk or tie off requirement.”

Automation Plus, a Division of CSF Incorporated

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