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Making lifting injuries a thing of the past

January 12, 2012

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Workforce health and safety is paramount and the data clearly shows that repetitive lifting, lowering, and moving injuries costs businesses millions of dollars each year. Automating those tasks significantly reduces the potential for injuries and costly downtime. No approach has been found for totally eliminating back injuries caused by lifting, though it is felt that a substantial portion can be prevented by an effective control program and ergonomic design of work tasks.

Injuries are on the rise. The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that a disabling injury occurs every 1.3 seconds in the U.S. (more than 63,000 every day), and the Social Security Administration predicts that 3 out of 10 workers entering the workforce today will acquire some type of disability before they retire. Prevention from these injuries is critical for all businesses and their employees.

The NSC reports that a single work-related disabling injury costs an employer an average of $48,000. The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) estimates, based on 2009 data, that medical costs comprise 58 percent of the overall costs of a lost-time claim, and that number keeps climbing. (In fact, the number has risen 11 percent in the past 20 years.) High medical and pharmaceutical costs are driving this hike, but economic conditions—including workers worried about returning to jobs with an uncertain future—are supporting these increases.

According to Aaron Lamb, inventor of Lift’n Buddy, “Workers’ compensation claims can be more costly than vehicle accidents. Across the country users of standard hand trucks have been slammed by workers’ compensation rates that, in some states, have nearly tripled over the last few years. Companies must do the right thing and reduce injuries and see workers’ compensation rates drop.”

U.S. Department of Labor, Fact Sheet No. OSHA 89-09 states that back injuries are the nation’s number one workplace safety problem. The paper concludes that preventing back injuries is a major workplace safety challenge. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more than one million workers suffer back injuries each year, and account for one of every five workplace injuries or illnesses. Further, one-fourth of all compensation indemnity claims involve back injuries, costing industry billions of dollars on top of the pain and suffering borne by employees.

Avoiding just one work-related injury claim would offset the costs of a fleet of Lift’n Buddy electric hand trucks. Lamb proudly asserts that, “Our cost-effective revolutionary mobile lifting device combines the best of a standard two-wheeler’s durability and functionality, with automatic lifting and lowering capabilities.”

Heavy-duty hand trucks cause more than one-third of all material handling injuries, whether used in deliveries, moving product in a warehouse, or on the manufacturing plant floor. Ergologistics manufactures innovative products for the health and welfare of material handling workers. Manufactured in Fargo, North Dakota, the company is a proud member of MHIA (Material Handling Industry of America) as well as the National Safety Council.

Designed with proper ergonomics and safety in mind for any person and any moving and lifting job, these mobile lifting devices, fabricated of durable, lightweight, extruded aluminum, help companies avoid the financial exposure of employee injury, litigation, and workers’ compensation claims.

Ergonomically safe and environmentally friendly

Since the electric hand trucks require no oil, gas, hydraulic fluid, or maintenance of any kind. Completely electric and geared for life, even the battery is 100 % recyclable.

This hand-truck market is estimated at more than $30 billion annually; Lift’n Buddy is poised to capture a significant share of the market in 2012 because the cost of back injuries is more than $250 billion annually; these injuries are avoidable.

Written by Thomas R. Cutler

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