The analysis of operations will define how the best ergonomic interface of each work station should be configured; what equipment should be combined to assist the flow of tasks and provide the best lifting, shifting or moving solution.
Manage the flow
Typically, the shifting of loads or transport of material has to be done - by means of conveyors, hoists, vehicles or people - to bridge gaps between processes. It pays to make detailed analyses of how these process gaps are handled, since they often represent costs in terms of damaged goods and injury associated with manual handling. Such process gaps are also found in supporting activities like repair, cleaning, maintenance and change-over of equipment and tools.
For heavy material handling, the use of counter-balanced forklifts represents the common and most cost-efficient option. However, the design of the traffic environment must provide an acceptable level of safety for the unprotected pedestrian workers in the system. Where forklifts are used they must be regarded as vehicles and the forklift access-ways defined as roads.