The importance of lift truck ergonomics

In the world of material handling, lift truck drivers are responsible for moving heavy goods in warehouses, distribution centres, mines, ports and similar environments. It goes without saying that driver comfort is of utmost importance, as it keeps them more alert and focused in their daily work. As a leading lift truck manufacturer, Konecranes Lift Trucks has an extensive ergonomics program, to promote driver health, safety and productivity.


Ergonomics for good health
At every workplace, people are the most valuable asset. Therefore, it is a strategic decision to offer employees the comfort they need to fulfil their tasks without negative side effects. For a lift truck driver, good ergonomics means that they can work eight plus hours every day without risking their health.

It is a well-known fact that a bad seating position over a long time can cause chronic health problems such as back pain and muscle strain. Regular long-term exposure to vibrations can disrupt blood circulation and cause damage to nerves, muscles and bones. Excessive noise can cause hearing damage and fatigue.

Investing in good ergonomics means minimizing repetitive strain injuries and discomfort, promoting long-term health and well-being for drivers. All in all, a good working environment lowers the risk for the long-term expenses associated with workplace injuries and sick leave.


Ergonomics for higher safety
Operating a heavy vehicle is in itself a responsibility. Add to that the task of lifting and moving heavy and bulky goods, in a sometimes busy environment like a port or a sawmill. With obstructed visibility, or an operator experiencing discomfort or fatigue, there is an obvious risk of damaging goods, or in worst case people.

On the other hand, a well-designed ergonomic environment fosters heightened situational awareness and reduces the likelihood of accidents. Ergonomically positioned controls, clear visibility of surroundings, and comfortable seating contribute to better concentration and response times, crucial for navigating through busy industrial environments safely.

Ergonomics for better performance
If the working environment is challenging, like the case with poor visibility or bad seating, lift truck drivers struggle to perform at their full potential. Cumbersome ergonomics impede the driver's agility and efficiency, resulting in subpar performance and reduced throughput. The resultant delays and errors not only hamper operational efficiency but also incur significant financial losses for businesses.  

The flipside is that when the physical and cognitive demands on drivers are minimized through ergonomic design, their performance flourishes. Ergonomically positioned controls and displays enable intuitive operation, allowing drivers to focus on the task at hand without unnecessary distractions. This streamlined workflow leads to increased productivity and performance in material handling operations.


Class-leading ergonomics
Konecranes Lift Trucks is a leading company in heavy material handling. For a long time, focus has been on delivering the best ergonomics, improving the lift truck driver’s daily working environment, the cabin.

Konecranes has designed the OPTIMA cabin, characterised by great comfort, outstanding spaciousness and superior visibility. That makes operating the lift truck safe and efficient, along with valuable extra equipment. With the OPTIMA cabin, Konecranes set a new standard for lift truck ergonomics, prompting the well-being of operators.

The result? Improved health, safety and performance, adding up to a workplace that is better for both people and productivity. Read more here >>>



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