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INTRODUCTION Material handling means providing the right amount of the right material, in the right condition, at the

right place, at the right time, in the right position and for the right cost, by using the right method. It is simply picking up, moving, and lying down of materials through manufacture. It applies to the movement of raw materials, parts in process, finished goods, packing materials, and disposal of scraps. In general, hundreds and thousands tons of materials are handled daily requiring the use of large amount of manpower while the movement of materials takes place from one processing area to another or from one department to another department of the plant. Material handling in addition to handling of materials in an industry is also significant in terms of costs in overall operations because it is something that is quite common to all manufacturers. But when once its nature is exposed it may be difficult to overlook it as a major potential of effecting cost reduction. Materials handling problems involve surveys, plant and equipment layouts, routing, packaging and storage of materials. I am the Occupational Health and Safety Manager of this factory and since my last visit to the material and handling department, I have noticed several safety problems, since we have heavy machines and equipment in the department that may cause serious injuries if we do not take precautions. These machines and chemicals may be hazardous to the operators’ health which is also the factory’s major concern. Therefore, I am outlining the problems and solutions so that you can take action wherever possible to ensure the employees’ health and safety.

You must ask for MSDS for all chemical substances in your workplaces.CHEMICAL HANDLING Hazardous chemical can cause headaches. importer or wholesale supplier. . where they exist. masks. and always used correctly. and other safety measures at their disposal. lung and liver damage. This information must be used in your risk assessment and in training employees in the hazards and safe use of the substances. While many cancers have an unknown source. cancers due to occupational exposures have known sources. Employers and self-employed persons have a legal responsibility to obtain adequate information about the hazardous substances used in their workplaces. The information should be passed on to elected safety and health representatives or safety and health committees. you may refer this issue to WorkSafe. Federal regulations are in place to improve employee safety. contact with eyes and skin. This information is contained in Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) which can be obtained from the manufacturer. if proper safety equipment is used all of the time. Individuals who learned their trade prior to the installation of many safety measures may find it difficult to retrain themselves with the new equipment. Read the MSDS and get as much additional information and advice as you need from the manufacturer. Workers in any occupation need to be fully informed of the substances with which they come in contact. rashes and burns. it can also cause respiratory problems. If you are unable to obtain an MSDS from the manufacturer. reproductive damage. Other than that. importer or wholesale supplier of the products. But not doing so may raise their risk of cancer. or ingestion. preferably before ordering them. importer or wholesale supplier of a hazardous substance. but the regulations are ineffective if the employees do not utilize the protective clothing. Chemical substances can enter the body by inhalation. This means that they are preventable. or from representatives of the organisations listed below. and may also lead to cancer.

Ensure all employees have ready access to the register for all the hazardous substances they use or to which they may be exposed. opening a door or window may be all that is necessary.Put together a hazardous substances register. storage. Once a hazard has been identified. This information should be used to identify any potential hazards that may arise from the use. or if decanted into another container and not used immediately. Ventilation – Adequate ventilation in working areas is important. the size of rooms. washing facilities. taking into account the risks and costs involved. temperature. This does not mean the installation of expensive equipment. If you're not sure whether you have adequate information. It's better to look at ways of preventing accidents and hazards rather than just how to deal with them if or when they occur. and the provision of drinking water in the department meet legal requirements. contact the manufacturer. The Workplace Regulations are designed to ensure that ventilation. take another look at the MSDS and label. containing an index of substances. resting and eating facilities. . The onus is on both the employer and employee to obtain as much information about the hazardous substances used in the workplace as needed to manage the risks. Discussions between employers and employees should take place to find ways in which potential hazards can be reduced or eliminated. Temperature – The working areas must be able to be kept at a comfortable temperature. the risk of injury or harm needs to be determined and an assessment made as to whether it is practicable to reduce or remove that hazard. each MSDS and reference to the risk assessment. Encourage your employees to read the MSDS and make suggestions about improving safety procedures and safe working practices as well as emergency procedures. that the container now holding the substance is adequately labelled. and transportation of the chemicals in question. lighting. Constructive problem solving is the key to successful hazard control in the workplace. Ensure all hazardous substances have their original label. or do some further research.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) refers to protective clothing. Transfer method may include belts. Conveyor‐related injuries often involve a worker’s body parts getting caught in nip points or shear points when: . or other material-specific carrier. guards. "Protective clothing" is applied to traditional categories of clothing.Lighting – Lighting must be adequate for the tasks being perform in each area. The hazards addressed by protective equipment include physical. but they introduce amputation hazards associated with mechanical motion. buckets. HAZARDOUS CONVEYOR A conveyor is a machine that transfers material from one area to another by use of stationery framework and rotating or vibrating belts. underground or at working height. etc. tubes or fittings replaced as soon as possible. electrical. chemicals. Conveyors eliminate or reduce manual material handling tasks. Caution needs to be used when working with or around them. or other garment or equipment designed to protect the wearer's body from injury. and "protective gear" applies to items such as pads. chains. heat. Under the Personal Protective Equipment Regulations. The purpose of personal protective equipment is to reduce employee exposure to hazards when engineering and administrative controls are not feasible or effective to reduce these risks to acceptable levels. helmets. It protects only the wearer. Conveyors may or may not be motorized and can be used overhead. goggles. rollers. PPE should be used when all other measures are inadequate to control exposure. and others. biohazards. while being worn. as well as for sports and other recreational activities. the fittings should be cleaned and well mantained with any broken bulbs. Protective equipment may be worn for job-related occupational safety and health purposes. or masks. the employer must provide free of charge personal protective materials or equipment (PPE). PPE has the serious limitation that it does not eliminate the hazard at source and may result in employees being exposed to the hazard if the equipment fails. Conveyors can be hazardous due to the nature of the moving parts and transferred material. and airbourne particulate matter. shields.

gears. and other equipment with hazardous energy sources. including power‐transmission apparatus. or other obstructions that prevent physical contact with operating machine components. shearpoints. employer should: 1) Train workers about the guarding and lockout procedures specific to their job 2) Ask workers to report unsafe conditions to their supervisor . and other moving parts. and equipment can be used to supplement primary safeguarding or alone or in combination when primary safeguarding methods are not feasible. such as point of operation areas. Guards may include barriers. fences. tension adjusters. Workers have been injured or killed while working in areas underneath conveyors and in areas around lubrication fittings. each conveyor should be evaluated to determine what primary safeguarding methods and energy control (lockout/tagout) practices are required. sprocket and chain drives. Regarding the conveyor’s belt safety. enclosures. Management team must use awareness devices on the conveyor such as warning signs or lights. locate unguarded moving parts away from workers or workers away from unguarded moving parts. grating. and power transmission couplings. horizontal and vertical shafting. work practices. belts and pulleys. chains. Secondary safeguarding methods. especially when it is still operating.• Cleaning or maintaining a conveyor. Because conveyor hazards vary. Safeguarding by safe distance (by location) — where possible. Some conveyors need mechanical guards to protect workers from nip points. sprockets. • A cleaning cloth or clothing gets caught in the conveyor and pulls fingers or hands into the conveyor Other conveyor‐related hazards include improperly guarded gears. and other moving parts. belts. He must also visually inspect the entire conveyor and immediate work area prior to start‐up to ensure that operation will not cause a hazard. • Reaching into an in‐going nip point to remove debris or to free jammed material. Supervisor must only allow qualified workers to operate or maintain conveyors.

bones. Manual handling can result in fatigue. Two groups of injuries may result from manual handling: • Cuts. and lead to injuries of the back. Make certain that your personnel are alerted to and obey these warnings. tendons. safety labels are placed at various points on the equipment to alert them of potential hazards. carrying or moving of a load. pulling. blood vessels and nerves) as a consequence of gradual and cumulative wear and tear through repetitive manual handling. It includes the following activities: lifting. large. the task being too strenuous or involving awkward postures or movements. The following characteristics of the work environment may increase the risk of back injury: • Space available . and the working environment lacking sufficient space. due to sudden. uneven or unstable floors. fractures etc. difficult to grasp or unstable. arms or other body parts. putting down. bruises. having extreme temperatures or poor lighting. MANUAL MATERIAL HANDLING Manual handling is any transporting or supporting of a load by one or more workers. joints. having slippery. holding. pushing.3) Identify job related machine hazards and work together to implement solutions 4) Follow up to make sure solutions are working 5) Comply with all of their other duties under the OHSA and applicable regulations In an effort to reduce the possibility of injury to personnel working around conveying equipment. ligaments. neck. These injuries are called ‘musculoskeletal disorders’. shoulders. Factors that increase the risk of injury include the load being too heavy. They must check equipment and note all safety labels. bursa. unexpected events such as accidents • Damage to the musculoskeletal system of the body (muscles.

and the use of equipment and correct handling techniques. Heat makes you feel tired. • Providing information and training to workers on tasks. • Using automation and lifting equipment. and sweat makes it hard to hold tools. Cold can make your hands numb. Employers are required to carry out risk assessments. • Climate The physical climate (temperature. • Organising manual handling tasks in a safe way. and take action to protect workers from the risks of manual handling. • Floor Handling loads on different working levels or on floors that are slippery. or at least restrict it. In the past few years. uneven or unstable (such as working platforms or fishing boats) may increase the risk of accidents and back injury.A lack of space to carry out manual handling may lead to inappropriate body postures and dangerous imbalance in the loads. serious accidents did occur during the use of material hoists. It may also make you work in awkward positions to see clearly what you are doing. • Lighting Insufficient lighting may increase the risk of accidents when handling loads. Prevention measures include: • Designing and organising tasks to avoid manual handling completely. humidity and ventilation) may affect the risk of back injury. with loads split into smaller ones. The common . USING HOIST Material hoist is a plant commonly used on construction sites for material transportation. making it hard to grip. and proper rest periods provided. requiring more force.

One of the possible approaches to guard against the sudden movement of a hoist platform/skip is to equip each hoistway gate with interlocking device such that the hoist is operable only when all gates are kept closed. with particular emphasis on the safety devices installed thereon. identifies that Interlocking devices should be so positioned and protected that they are inaccessible to unauthorized persons for the purpose of avoiding interference. b) A maintenance programme on daily checks. Electromechanical interlocking devices should be properly encased and sealed to prevent them from being affected by water. regularly checked and adjusted. dust and other contaminants. The analysis. Analysis of the past accident cases on material hoists reveals that most accidents were attributable to the misinterpreting or misunderstanding of the instructions or signals between the users and the operators of hoists. and ensures persons using it are aware of its safe operation should be developed and implemented. d) Workers using the hoist should not carry out such work.etc. however. periodic tests and examinations. should be developed and implemented. Interlocking devices should be correctly set. and properly maintained to ensure that they are always kept in good working order. Among the responsibilities of the management team regarding the safety of hoist are: a) A permit-to-work system that consists of safety checks for a material hoist and interlocking device. c) In the event of any break down or mal-functioning of a material hoist. only experienced hoist technicians should be allowed to carry out remedial actions.scenario of the cases was that the platform/skip of a hoist suddenly moved while loading or unloading was in progress. That caused the worker using the hoist to fall into the hoistway arising from loss of body balance at an unfenced edge. of a material hoist. or being trapped by the moving part of the hoist. .

f) Training for workers on the safe use of a material hoist should be provided. Both employers and employees have responsibilities for material handling safety. even in the simple act of moving materials around the workplace. all goods are as far as practicable to be up-delivered from the floor where control panel of the hoist is provided. i) Warning notices reminding workers on safe use of material hoists should be displayed. h) Records of material hoist users should be kept and access to the operating panels or switches of hoist should be controlled. These are the things that the company should do to protect its employees: • Engineering controls are the most common ways to prevent injuries and make the job easier. work activities and/or procedures. As an employer. you can configure material-handling workstations to minimize lifting and reduce stress on workers’ bodies. and vice versa. You might also be able to reduce the size and weight of objects to be . you have a responsibility to provide protection from injury to your employees. you should have an overall safety program that addresses your specific safety problems. For example. should be developed. Since your operation is unique. To improve safety in your operation. implemented and constantly reviewed. it probably has some unique safety considerations. g) Only workers who have received proper training are allowed to work with material hoists. j) Loading or unloading between upper floors should be discouraged. in the light of any changes to site conditions. unauthorized use of material hoists is prohibited.e) An operation plan for the safe use of a material hoist. CONCLUSION No single combination of safety equipment can provide the means to the safest environment in all applications.

These policies and practices include such things as training in safe lifting and carrying techniques and encouraging employees to keep strong and flexible through physical conditioning and stretching exercises. both of which can help prevent injuries.lifted manually to minimize the risk of back injuries. • Administrative controls can also be used to reduce injuries—for example. . Perhaps most important of all. you can provide and encourage the use of a variety of effective material-handling aids. If these things can be achieved. providing regular and adequate rest periods for employees who do a lot of lifting to allow tense muscles to relax or using job rotation to reduce the wear and tear on workers’ bodies. then it is possible for us to guarantee the workers’ safety so that they do not have any worries to work in our factory. • Work policies and practices intended to reduce the chance of material-handling injuries are also essential.

McGlothlin (1993).ca/pdf/manmat. Hoist (device). Making materials flow: a lean material-handling guide for operations. E.REFERENCE 1.iapa. 5. Retrieved from http://en. on 1 November 2012. 2.alberta. H.pdf on 2 November 2012. production-control. Retrieved from humanservices. Retrieved from www. K.pdf on 2 November 2012. Manual Material Handling: Understanding & Preventing Back Trauma. Kroemer. Lean Enterprise Institute. and engineering professionals.wikipedia. Earl Wilson (2003). Chris Harris. 3. Manual Materials Handling: A Health and Safety Guideline for Your James D. . Amer Industrial Hygiene Association. Best Practices on Conveyor Safety.