At Bastian Solutions, it’s easy to focus on the highly automated material handling solutions we’ve provided over the years. Especially when these systems have technologies such as fast-moving robots, accumulation conveyor, a full software suite, and detailed Human Machine Interfaces. These products provide clear return on investment that are often quite easy to justify. However, it’s just as important to focus on the basics of a material handling environment.
As an integrator, Bastian Solutions always provides whatever level of material handling or automation our customer might need. It’s not about providing a high-level system if that’s not what would help our customer most. One topic that’s often overlooked is anti-fatigue mats.
Identifying the Need for Anti-Fatigue Mats
Nowadays, everyone appreciates the value of an ergonomic workplace. Some popular items that help with ergonomics include lift-tables, transportation conveyor, and machine-tending robots. The need for these products are easy to see since they’re right in front of one’s eyes. Anti-fatigue mats aren’t quite as easy to spot when you’re standing on them; yet, they’re just as, if not more, important to creating an ergonomic workplace.
If you’re in a position where you’re standing on a hard, concrete (or similar material) surface for a majority of your day, as is common with many industrial jobs, it will eventually cause back pain and fatigue. The benefits of anti-fatigue mats allow for the user to subconsciously make small micro-movements while standing still, increasing blood flow throughout the body and minimizing the negative health aspects associated with standing still. This is both backed by research and recommended by OSHA.
Anti-Fatigue Mats Prevent Costly Injuries
For such a low-cost addition to a facility, anti-fatigue mats can really benefit the entire workforce. By decreasing fatigue and injuries associated with standing for most of the day, you can make a happier, healthier company. Reduced operator fatigue has also been shown to increase productivity in all aspects of the workplace.
One thing to keep in mind is to stay proactive on purchasing anti-fatigue mats, among other ergonomic equipment
, for your facility. Why wait to spend $30,000 on workers’ compensation and medical expenses for one valuable employee when you could spend $15,000 to provide enough anti-fatigue mats to cover an entire medium-sized facility? This cost is without considering the expense of having an experienced employee out of action for the foreseeable future. By talking to the workers in the most ergonomically perilous jobs and seeing if they’re experiencing any symptoms of fatigue, you can stop the problem before it starts.
I think the best way to think about this is you wouldn’t want your whole house to have concrete flooring. Instead, most homes have carpet or hardwood floors as they provide a much softer surface. The same principal should apply to providing anti-fatigue mats for manufacturing facilities, distribution centers, or packing zones of a warehouse. If you’re uncomfortable for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, you’re going to suffer fatigue in one form or another. While it can be hard on the wallet to buy a few robots or a few lift tables, buying a few anti-fatigue mats are an easily affordable way to keep your employees happy, healthy, and comfortable throughout their work environment.
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