Avoiding musculoskeletal injury in the workplace
The manual sorting of bulky mailbags opens up the risk of musculoskeletal injuries for workers.
Australia Post staff were previously using ball transfer tables for the sorting of international mailbags, which weigh up to 35 kg. This required substantial repetitive movement for workers to push and pull the bags.
To minimise the risk of injury, Australia Post implemented the Rotacaster conveyor transfer solution. The table has 48 mm Rotacasters and polyacetal spacer rollers, with a smaller diameter to support soft packaging. This also minimises friction and reduces the number of Rotacaster wheels required.
The conveyor transfer table solution resulted in a significant reduction of push/pull forces to between 40 and 70 N (4–7 kg) in all directions on the table. Australia Post was pleased with this achievement, given the absence of any powered assist. In addition to reducing the push/pull forces required, without the cost, noise or maintenance associated with a powered solution, the polymer surfaces of the Rotacasters and spacer rollers have demonstrated a lower affinity to adhesion of labels and stickers from packages, further reducing downtime and maintenance costs.
Australia Post and Rotacaster collaborated on the design and construction of the transfer table. Trials were successfully undertaken at an Australia Post gateway.
The remaining transfer tables at this gateway facility will be replaced with the Rotacaster solution, with upgrades in Sydney, Brisbane and other Australia Post facilities.
Phone: 02 4907 8100
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