How Pilates Reduces Ergonomic Injuries
There was a time when pilates was thought to be just for professional dancers. In actuality, Joseph Pilates originally invented his stretching system for bedridden hospital patients to allow them to exercise from their hospital beds. Over time, however, pilates was viewed as unmanly. But there’s a reason pilates has grown in popularity over the past 10 years. Professional athletes and assembly line workers alike are learning about how pilates reduces ergonomic injuries by stretching, strengthening and aligning your body. As a result, people are feeling stronger and eliminating nagging aches and pains that have plagued them for year, or quite possibly, their whole lives.
Take a play from the Packers’ Playbook
It made headlines a few years back when news stories came out revealing that the Green Bay Packers had integrated Pilates into their training regimen. However, what their trainers had discovered is that pilates requires a connection to your body that allows their athletes to hone into muscle imbalances that indicate what muscles they should focus on. Often tiny muscles are neglected that support the stronger, dominant ones. As a result of this body awareness, their players are able to reduce injuries and gain a competitive edge.
That’s great. But what can pilates do for you… you ask?
The short answer: a ton. Though working surfaces with adjustable working heights limit bodily stress and reduce repetitive motion injuries, they aren’t miracle workers. Even the best Lange Lift tables in the industry can’t compensate for your old football or wrestling injury.
That’s where Pilates comes into the picture.
How pilates reduces ergonomic injuries for Wisconsin workers
As machinists, welders, assembly line workers and material fabricators, we don’t have to tell you that you’re doing the same motions over and over. If your shoulder flares up after four hours and you pop some Advil, you may temporarily alleviate the inflammation, but you aren’t addressing the underlying issue. Though pilates can’t get rid of all physical issues, it has proven to help those who have lived with pain their whole lives reduce or eliminate it with proper strengthening and stretching.
A good pilates regimen has many ergonomic benefits including:
- A stronger core. Strengthening your abdominal muscles helps to improve posture and prevent muscle imbalances that cause aches and pains to begin with. A weak core is often the culprit behind chronic back pain.
- Increased flexibility. Loosening up your back, hamstring, quads and hips make doing those repetitive motions less difficult, resulting in less injuries.
- Stress Relief. Gentle stretching metabolizes the stress hormones that build up in your muscles making you feel more relaxed.
At Lange Lift, we’ve been reducing ergonomic risks since 1934
At Lange Lift, we create products that limit bodily stress, reduce repetitive motion injuries, and increase efficiency. If you have the opportunity to try pilates, give it a try and see if it works as another tool in your box to keep you productive and healthy. And contact us today for height adjustable tables to help reduce your ergonomic risks.l
4 Tips Before Buying the Perfect Lift Table for You
A lift table is a table equipped with a hydraulic system for raising/lowering products of equipment. Lift tables also have various ergonomic benefits because it reduces the constant need to bend and twist around to see what you’re working on. For some specific information on ergonomics, check out these tips to improve ergonomics in the workplace.
There are many things to consider when buying a lift table. This blog will walk you through the various considerations so you know you’re getting exactly what you need.
Here are 4 tips for buying a lift table!
1. Lift Table Capacity
Each lift table has a specific load capacity. Some can handle more weight, others less. You need to consider what it is you’ll be putting on this lift table and how heavy it is. Too heavy, and you might be compromising the longevity and functionality of the lift. Too light, and you might just be overpaying for a lift designed to handle harder work.
Each lift table also has a maximum lift height, as well as a minimum height for engaged/unengaged. You need to figure out the average height you’ll be working at and find a lift that can work a bit higher than that. This is because if you are constantly working on a table lifted close to its maximum height you can really decimate the lifespan. In addition, you’ll want to consider your workstation and how much space you can afford to give up. A lift can be stored relatively easily if you just span ahead and find the right spot for it.
3. Lift Table Mobility
Another thing to consider when purchasing a new lift table is mobility. Many people purchase lift tables meant for fixed positions. This means that the table is permanently in the same spot for most of its lifespan. Other people may not just have one specific spot or job for the table. In this case, a portable lift table may make more sense. Many tables on the market have wheels and are lightweight enough to be moved by hand.
4. Load Positioning
The final consideration before buying a table is load positioning. Many tables have the ability to change the position of the load for ergonomic purposes. Among of these features includes the ability to tilt or rotate the item on the table so you yourself don’t have to maneuver around it. It can make a very big difference in daily productivity to get a table equipped with one or both of these features.
Overall, buying a new table can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Following these tips can help you narrow your search down to the point where it’s not much of a search at all. If these considerations don’t narrow your search enough, you may want to consider a customized or modified lift from us at Lange-Lift. Contact us today with any questions you may have about buying a new lift table!
Forklift Safety Tips You Should Never Forget!
Forklifts are common in almost all industrial work environments. In fact, if there’s a forklift on site, most workers there are typically certified to operate it when the need arises. That should make the first rule of forklift safety obvious: If you aren’t trained and certified to use one, don’t!
Even those who are trained, however, can often benefit from a safety refresher. If it’s been awhile since you memorized the safety book, here a some quick safety tips to keep in mind any time you operate a forklift.
1. Perform a Pre-Operation Inspection
The first thing to consider before operating a forklift is the pre-trip inspection. This inspection involves taking a walk around the forklift to check for any problems, such as:
- Are you wearing proper clothing (like steel toe boots, a hard hat, and a reflective/high-visibility jacket)?
- Are your hands or boots slippery from grease or oil? You’ll want to clean them before operating.
- What’s the general condition of the forklift? Double check the brakes, gauges, steering, mast, and forks for any notable signs of damage, and don’t operate it until any problems are fixed.
2. Make Adjustments for Starting
Before starting up the forklift, be sure the seat is in a comfortable position to operate for the duration of the task. This means that your feet and hands can easily reach the pedals, steering wheel, and controls. You should also adjust your mirrors to your own specifications. Make sure to lower the mast and forks close to the ground if the previous driver did not.
It’s important to not start the forklift until all this is done, and after you are comfortable and buckled in properly.
3. Be Careful of Your Surroundings
While you’re operating a forklift, always be mindful of your surroundings. For instance:
- Be careful of your height, especially when entering or exiting a building.
- Check around yourself before spinning, turning, or backing up.
- Before the trip, you should have made your plans and work route to complete the job. Whether those plans change or not, make note of those around you and the jobs they’re working on. At any point it’s possible that someone could overlap into your space.
4. Take It Slow
Always take it slow when operating a forklift, especially when you have a load on the forks. Although you may be busy and want to rush to get the job done, that’s no reason to jeopardize safety in the workplace for yourself and others. Remember:
- Do not lift or lower the forks and mast too quickly.
- Don’t drive, turn, or reverse too quickly, especially around corners.
It’s important to operate the forklift as safely and efficiently as possible. If you are in an accident, any time you would have saved rushing will be lost anyway.
5. Secure Your Load
Once the load is on the forks, secure it before moving anywhere. This means the load is fully on the forks with an even weight distribution to avoid tipping or dumping. To further secure the load, lower the forks as close to the ground as possible and tilt the forks slightly backward.
Do not move or operate with an unstable load. You can either drop the load carefully and try again, or take further security measures like ropes, bungee cords, or stretch wrap for pallets. And always check your surroundings before, during, and after dropping the load at the new location.
6. Post-Operation Safety Steps
After you’ve finished operating the forklift, there are some post-operation steps to ensure safety. These include:
- If the forklift needs fueling, it is courteous to take care of that before parking it away for the day. If it doesn’t need fuel, take the forklift to the designated parking spot, lower the forks all the way to the ground, and apply the parking brake.
- Turn off the forklift and remove the key. Never leave an unattended forklift running!
- Do another walk around the forklift to check the overall condition. This can catch any unnoticed damage sustained while you were working.
These safety tips may seem obvious to some, but to others, these tips could mean the difference between a workplace accident and an injury-free day. If you operate heavy equipment, it’s always a good idea to refresh your memory and keep workplace safety in mind.
Observing good safety rules is just one way that you can help your workplace be more productive and efficient. To learn more about improving your work site, see these articles on the ergonomics of lift tables and truck lift gate safety.
5 Tips to Improve Workplace Ergonomics
Ergonomics involve studying the design of a workspace to optimize it for comfort, efficiency, safety, and productivity. These five tips will improve your workplace’s ergonomics and help prevent workplace injuries.
1. Stretch Often
Stretching is one of the easiest, quickest, and cheapest ways to prevent injury in the workplace. Not only does stretching in the morning increase your flexibility, range of motion, and blood flow to muscles, it also improves your posture and performance in physical activities. All of these are beneficial in an industrial setting for decreasing the risk of injury and improving overall workplace ergonomics. Additionally, stretching regularly has shown to raise energy levels and calm the mind.
2. Get an Anti-Fatigue Mat
Do your back a favor and get yourself an anti-fatigue mat. These mats are made to reduce pain and fatigue caused by standing or walking on hard surfaces all day (like concrete, wood, and cement) by providing cushioning between your feet and the hard floor. For example, this anti-fatigue mat is made of PVC foam to increase comfort.
Mats are relatively cheap and make a big difference in day-to-day ergonomics. You’ll thank yourself for getting one later.
3. Have a Height-Adjustable Work Station
A height-adjustable workstation makes a huge difference in comfort and productivity. Adjustable tables and chairs allow workers to remain comfortable no matter what the task is.
If a worker is uncomfortable and has to constantly bend or reach for something, then efficiency is compromised. Being able to adjust the height of your table or chair while you work on a project means you never have to strain while working. That means you stay safer and more productive all day long.
4. Make Sure There’s Good Lighting
Good lighting decreases the risk of injury in the workplace from certain common issues, like strained eyes and long-term vision problems. Additionally, a bright workplace means it’s easier to see things around you, which means fewer accidents. Additionally, windows and skylights allow natural light into the workspace, allowing better vision without the overhead costs of electricity.
The less you have to worry about vision, the more you can focus on the job right in front of you.
5. Have a Portable Work Station
Similar to height-adjustable workstations, portable workstations offer similar benefits in the workplace. In addition to moving up or down, it’s important to be able to rotate your table or move around the table yourself. A high-quality work chair with wheels allows you to circle around your project to see it from all angles. Conversely, rotating tabletops like these give you a complete, 360-degree view of your work.
Basically, the more adjustments you can make to keep yourself comfortable and safe, the more productive and efficient you will be.
For the most ergonomic lift tables in the business, contact Lange-Lift. We offer a large selection of manual, battery, electric, and air lift tables. Need a unique lift table for a specialized task? Customize your own table from the ground up. Whatever your need, Lange-Lift is committed to offering the best product to make sure your workplace is safe and productive.