A normal forklift shift will last for up to 8 hours, however, it is not uncommon to have shifts that extend beyond this. Every single hour spent operating a forklift can affect your health and productivity as a forklift operator in a big way.
Some of the problems that forklift operators usually develop after longs shifts are; back pain, neck pain, and extreme fatigue.
While some of these problems might need drastic measures to solve them, some simple short term solutions can help a great deal. Let take a look at some;
Solution: Invest In Ergonomic Seats/Back Rests.
A typical forklift shift will have you spend most of your time seated unless you are on a stand-on forklift. The hours you spend sitting during long shifts can expose you to back pain.
The back pain usually results from an improper sitting position, forklift vibration, or a forklift seat that lacks ergonomic features to support the lower back. To prevent this problem, you need to invest in an ergonomic and adjustable forklift seat.
The ergonomic features will provide you with proper lumbar support, while the adjust-ability ensures you can assume a comfortable sitting position.
In case you are not able to get an ergonomic forklift seat, you can get yourself a backrest that is also efficient in providing proper lumbar support.
Solution: Make Use Of Anti-vibration Seat Cushions.
Another potential problem you will face after a long shift is extreme fatigue.
A forklift, unlike other vehicles, lacks shock-absorbers or suspensions that are vital for absorbing the shock and vibrations generated by the forklift, especially in rough terrain.
Unfortunately, these shocks and vibrations end up being transferred to your body magnifying your exhaustion and causing you back pain. One of the ways you can solve this problem is by investing in a good anti-vibration seat cushion.
These cushions are air-filled or made of a thick yet soft layer of material that absorbs most of the shocks and vibrations minimizing their impact on the body. They also redistribute your body weight pressure to relieve stress from your lower back and prevent back pain.
Some of the shocks generated while operating a forklift on bumpy terrain can be solved using quality forklift tires
Solution: Provide proper Neck Support/Enhance visibility
One of the most active parts of your body, while you are operating a forklift, is your neck. You will either use it to look up while you are stacking inventory several shelves up or you will repeatedly tilt it back to get a better view while reversing.
All these movements, when done several times in a day, contribute in a major way to intense neck strain which is an obvious cause of neck pain. In some cases, neck pain can be very intense to the extent of preventing you from working.
To provide your neck with proper support you can invest in a neck support device that will help prevent strain while you are looking up. A neck support device is a simple device that is strapped on the shoulders and has an elongated part that sits on the back of your neck to offer support.
Another good investment you can make is a forklift back up camera which will limit your need to turn your neck backward for better visibility thus saving you from neck strain. You can opt for the multi-view variety that will also help enhance operational safety.
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