NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search
Evaluation of loaders and hashers at a postal processing and distribution center.
Int J Occup Environ Health 2009 Apr; 15(2):230-231
The HHE Program responded to a request at a postal processing and distribution center. The request concerned potential ergonomic hazards for workers performing sorting and loading tasks at the facility. HHE Program investigators watched workers loading and sorting mail; investigators then used special equipment to re-create these jobs in the lab to see if the tasks could injure workers. Investigators found that the current sorting job did not pose as much risk to workers as former methods that had been previously evaluated, but could be further improved to reduce ergonomic risks. Investigators also found that workers loading general-purpose mail containers had a high risk of developing low back pain. HHE Program investigators recommended that managers move shelving in the sorting area to make space for empty containers and move the tray management system conveyor to a location in front of the sorters; both recommendations would eliminate 1800 lifts. Investigators recommended that employees not lift tubs or trays over the front conveyer onto the back conveyor in the loading zone, in order to minimize reach distance. It was also recommended that the number of workers in the loading and sorting areas be increased to allow for job rotation. Investigators recommended that employees take the time to work safely and lift properly, and promptly report injuries and unsafe work conditions. The final report is available at <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/hhe/reports/pdfs/2007-0170-3070.pdf"target="_blank">https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/hhe/reports/pdfs/2007-0170-3070.pdf</a>.
Region-10; Ergonomics; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Repetitive-work; Cumulative-trauma; Cumulative-trauma-disorders; Materials-handling; Manual-lifting; Author Keywords: Postal Service; repetitive motions; awkward postures; lifting; sorting/hashing; ergonomics; USPS
Issue of Publication
International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division