As beer wholesalers continue to take on more SKU’s and adopt alternative storage media for their keg management, it is important to consider OSHA and NIOSH guidelines. Unfortunately, one such trend is to store sixth barrel kegs (58 lbs.) 55” above floor level for manual picking. According to The Handbook of Ergonomic Design Guidelines – Version 2.0; Ann Arbor, MI: Humantech, Inc., the practice of picking 58 lbs. above shoulder height presents high risk of injury for the employee. Additionally, picking 58 lbs. kegs below 20” from ground level poses serious risks to the worker.
Manual Material Handling (MMH) work contributes to a large percentage of the over half a million cases of musculoskeletal disorders reported annually in the United States. Musculoskeletal disorders often involve strains and sprains to the lower back, shoulders, and upper limbs. They can result in protracted pain, disability, medical treatment, and financial stress for those afflicted with them, and employers often find themselves paying the bill, either directly or through workers’ compensation insurance. At the same time they must cope with the loss of the full capacity of their workers.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration “Workers’ Rights”. 2014. www.OSHA.gov / OSHA 3021-09R 2014