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Often thought of as a science related solely to designing comfortable and efficient seating and furnishings such as an “ergonomically designed forklift replacement seat,” ergonomics is actually a much broader science. According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, ergonomics is:
an applied science concerned with designing and arranging things people use so that the people and things interact most efficiently and safely —called also biotechnology, human engineering, human factors
Looking at it from this broader perspective, it is clear that ergonomics plays a vital role in the design of forklift accessories.
The importance of ergonomics in the design of forklift accessories is easy to notice in something like a forklift seat. An ergonomically designed forklift seat is comfortable to sit in; offers lumbar support; is adjustable; and allows freedom of movement. All of these features combine to reduce driver fatigue and increase safety in the workplace.
Ergonomics in forklift accessories is obvious in something like a well-designed seat, but what about other forklift accessories? Where does ergonomics come into play in the design of a drum attachment, for example? Yes, any drum attachment allows “people and things” to interact more efficiently, but the strict definition of ergonomics states “most efficiently,” not simply more efficiently.
To get the most efficiency out of a drum attachment, you need to choose one that suits your workplace environment the best. In some environments, an inexpensive drum gripper is all you need for occasional use. In other workplaces, a heavier duty drum attachment is called for. Whatever type of drum attachment you choose, it should be easy to attach to your forklift forks or carriage and enable the forklift operator to work from his seat.
Without ergonomically designed accessories, forklift batteries are almost impossible to work with or service safely. Some battery accessories every factory or warehouse that uses battery powered forklifts should have include:
- A battery roller stand
- An automatic watering system
- A battery acid spill kit
- An emergency eye wash station
Without these basic forklift accessories, your workplace is neither efficient nor safe.
Not all forklift accessories are designed to fit on the forklift or directly facilitate the operation or maintenance of a lift truck. Forklift facility protection products help make the working environment safer and more efficient for forklift operators and others. For example:
- Expansion joint compound facilitates smooth operations on the factory or warehouse floor.
- Non-skid floor coatings used indoors and outdoors enhance safety and help boost productivity.
Think ergonomically and you’ll discover dozens of ways forklift accessories “help people and things interact most safely and efficiently.” If you’re still in doubt, try moving drums manually instead of using a drum attachment next time you need to. Even if all goes well and no one gets a back injury, it will take far longer to move each drum. What should be an easy job will turn out to take a major amount of time out of your workers’ day and as they say, “time is money.”
Think about the forklift attachments you don’t have in your workplace, too. Would a sweeper attachment or forklift boom boost efficiency and productivity? If so, seriously consider adding them to your list of forklift accessories. The cost of ergonomically designed forklift attachments and accessories is negligible compared to the benefits they have to offer.