How an Industrial Rotating Table Improves Safety in Your Industry
In warehouses and manufacturing facilities, ergonomic equipment makes sense. Industrial rotating tables are a versatile example; by keeping loads in an ergonomically appropriate position, these devices substantially improve worker safety and efficiency. Of course, to get the most out of any piece of equipment, you’ll need to understand how it works — and how its features can be appropriately utilized to meet the needs of your industry.
A great ergonomic safety plan begins with great equipment, and proper material handling equipment can have a tremendous effect in improving safety throughout an organization. With that in mind, let’s consider two types of industrial rotating tables and their benefits: BHS Lift Tables with optional turntable surfaces and the BHS Pallet Carousel & Skid Positioner. The devices differ greatly in features, load capacities, and capabilities, but both can substantially improve efficiency and safety when properly deployed.
BHS Lift Tables (LT6K) are scissor lift tables capable of positioning loads of up to 6,000 pounds, and the optional Turntable tabletop (LT-TT) allows for additional flexibility. Using optional hand or foot controls, workers can keep their loads at an optimal height, reducing the need to bend awkwardly. The turntable surface moves the load closer to the worker (or farther away, as needed).
The BHS Pallet Carousel & Skid Positioner is designed for loading and unloading pallets and skids, with a 4,500-pound capacity and optional custom platforms. It has a self-leveling feature (which requires a 400-pound minimum capacity) and works completely automatically — no electrical or air supply needed. It can be easily moved to different locations in a warehouse via built-in, two-way fork pockets.
Both of these heavy duty rotating tables work well in industrial settings, providing smooth, reliable access to loads and reducing fatigue. However, to optimize your operation, you’ll need to consider the benefits of each option carefully. To do that, we need to consider best ergonomic practices.
Why Ergonomics Matters (And How Industrial Rotating Tables Help)
According to the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH), proper ergonomic practices are intended to prevent musculoskeletal orders and soft-tissue injuries caused by “sudden or sustained exposure to force, vibration, repetitive motion, and awkward posture.”
NIOSH’s basic ergonomic guidelines for manual material handling are purposely broad, as every employer needs to carefully monitor tasks on a case-by-case basis to ensure a safer workplace. No single piece of equipment can address every hazard, but savvy managers can plan effectively by communicating with workers and understanding the signs of poor ergonomics.
So, what are those signs? The Institute recommends identifying and addressing the following risk factors:
- Tasks that require bending, twisting, or other awkward postures
- Tasks that require frequent lifting, carrying, and other repetitive motions
- Tasks that require lifting heavy loads and other forceful exertions
- Tasks that put strain on pressure points
- Tasks that require static postures
Managers should observe work activities, review written records, and speak with workers to find opportunities for ergonomic improvement. However, while some tasks can be made more ergonomic through administrative efforts (e.g., by training workers to work in teams when moving heavier loads), engineering improvements often yield more dependable results.
While the exact benefits of industrial rotating tables will vary depending on your industry, all businesses can expect improved worker safety with properly equipped workstations. Here are several considerations to keep in mind while evaluating your work processes.
Keep work within the employee’s ergonomic range of motion. The simplest way to limit ergonomic stress is to eliminate the hazard itself through precise positioning. For simple tasks, Lift Tables offer a versatile means of accomplishing this goal; by vertically positioning the load properly for every individual worker, the tables make repetitive motions far less stressful (and far quicker, as we’ll address in a moment). Workers can adjust the height of the table quickly, which reduces the need for lifting.
Skid Positioners are a more effective option when working directly with pallets and skids, as they do not require an external power source and maintain a consistent height regardless of the weight of the load (again, note that they require a minimum capacity of 400 pounds for the self-leveling features to work properly).
In other words: When workers need highly precise control over the height of the load, a Lift Table with a rotating top is the right tool for the job. When height needs to be consistent, or when working with pallets/skids of any kind, the Pallet Carousel & Skid Positioner is a more appropriate choice.
Rotary tables can also significantly improve throughput. When considering equipment purchases, remember that good ergonomics means better efficiency — almost by definition. Even if you haven’t noticed specific hazards in your workflow, consider whether throughput could improve with simple changes.
Rotating tables can be valuable additions in virtually any environment that requires employees to work from a mostly static position. Automotive shops can use Lift Tables to facilitate certain repairs; retail shops can use Skid Positioners to speed up certain pick-and-pack tasks. Put simply, when employees need to handle heavy loads from a comfortable working height, rotation tables will probably make them more productive.
Ergonomic-friendly tools can improve worker retention. On-the-job injuries aren’t beneficial to anyone, and employees are aware of the hazards of poor ergonomics. Providing properly equipped workstations will help with retention rates, reducing expenses associated with training and allowing for greater improvements in throughput over time.
Regular training is therefore a key component of an ergonomic work plan. Finally, remember than any ergonomic project is a collaboration between managers and employees. By identifying hazards — and eliminating them with industrial rotating tables — managers can significantly improve throughput while providing workers with a safe, ergonomically friendly environment. However, workers also have a responsibility to follow established work processes consistently.
Focus on setting up clear lines of communication between workers and managers; if workers believe that a particular process can be improved, or that a certain task is ergonomically dangerous, they should feel comfortable presenting management with this information. Employees might also generate ideas for using rotating tables more efficiently, and a single good idea can have an extraordinary effect.
Industrial rotating tables can make a dramatic difference in workflow and throughput. To learn more, or for specific guidance from our technical support staff, contact us by calling 314-696-0200 or by clicking here.