EASE Council Panel To Discuss Ergonomic Manufacturing Solutions At MODEX 2024
Annually, U.S. manufacturers lose nearly $8.32 billion due to serious, non-fatal workplace injuries. According to the 2023 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index’s Manufacturing report, the top cause is overexertion when handling objects. (It’s also the top cause of injuries across all American industries, adding up to $12.84 billion per year.) Fortunately, there’s a solution: ergonomic assist systems. Yet many companies don’t know about the broad range of ergonomic options or how to choose among them. That’s why the Ergonomic Assist Systems & Equipment (EASE) Council will host a panel to discuss ergonomic manufacturing solutions at MODEX 2024.
The presentation will address the questions and concerns of key personnel responsible for worker safety, said Kelly Wehner, Chair of the EASE Council. Wehner is also President of Case Systems, a member of the organization. “Operations managers, health and safety professionals, manufacturing engineers, process engineers, ergonomics practitioners, and human resources professionals will all find useful information about ergonomic solutions that reduce the risk of injuries.”
Panel of Ergonomic Manufacturing Solutions Experts
The education session, “Ergonomics in Modern Manufacturing: Ergonomic Assist Systems & Equipment,” is free to all MODEX attendees. It occurs on Tuesday, March 12 at 10:30 – 11:15 a.m. Eastern time in Theater I. The theater is located in Hall B, on the right-hand wall of the show floor.
As the field of ergonomics and the available solutions are broad, a variety of topics will be featured in the presentation. “The session includes panelists representing different EASE Council members. They’ll be covering the benefits of ergonomics in the workplace. These include enhanced employee safety, reduction in injuries and associated downtime, and productivity improvements,” Wehner added.
Moderated by Steve Graffam, Product Manager at EASE Council member Blue Giant Equipment Corporation, the session will feature three panelists from member companies. They include:
- Rob Doucette, Senior Applications Engineer at BOSTONtec
- Rob Jorden, Vice President of Engineering at Blickle Wheels & Casters USA
- Grant Welch, National Sales Manager of Handling Systems at Schmalz
Evolving Automation Impacting Ergonomic Manufacturing Solutions
The pace of change in manufacturing is yielding dramatic changes in material handling. In the past five years, deployments of automated guided vehicles (AGVs), autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), and automatic storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) have been rising. Ergonomic manufacturing solutions range from very manual to completely automated. The panelists will explore the different options along that continuum. They’ll also discuss the pros and cons of the vast variety of ergonomic options available in manufacturing today.
“As one of the panelists at the upcoming ‘Ergonomics in Modern Manufacturing’ seminar, this event is a must-attend for anyone looking to keep pace with the rapidly changing manufacturing landscape,” explained Doucette. “We’ll delve into a range of ergonomic solutions, providing valuable insights for making informed decisions.”
Impact of Ergonomics on Workforce Retention
With the ongoing workforce challenges throughout the industrial sector, improving ergonomics can make a significant impact on talent retention, added Wehner.
“It becomes more difficult each year to attract and retain talent,” she continued. “As business mangers we need to treat the employees we have in alignment with the value they represent. Putting them in a safe, efficient, productive workflow with appropriate tools and equipment to support them should be our number one priority.”
Doucette agreed. “Our focus will also include the pivotal role of ergonomics in not only ensuring workplace safety and enhancing employee wellbeing, but also in addressing the challenges posed by an aging workforce and labor shortages,” he said. “As EASE members, we’re particularly keen on discussing strategies to boost productivity during these times of workforce scarcity. This session is more than just a learning opportunity; it’s a crucial step in aligning your manufacturing processes with the cutting edge of industry evolution.”
EASE Council Members Put Ergonomic Solutions on Display
Both before and after the education session, MODEX 2024 attendees can explore a variety of products that enhance worker ergonomics and improve workplace safety. Several EASE Council members will have exhibits in both Hall B and Hall C of Atlanta’s Georgia World Congress Center. They include:
|EASE Council Member
|Blickle Wheels & Casters USA
|Blue Giant Equipment Corporation
|Cherry’s Industrial Equipment Corp.
|Colson Group USA
|Hamilton Caster & Mfg. Co.
|New Age Industrial Corporation, Inc.
|Nutting Carts and Trailers
|Southworth International Group, Inc.
|TAWI USA, Inc. – part of the Piab Group
|UNEX Manufacturing, Inc.
Although EASE Council members listed below do not have exhibits at MODEX, attendees can connect with them via mhi.org/ease.
- Case Systems
- Dalmec, Inc.
- Darcor Casters
- Demag Cranes & Components
- Electro Kinetic Technologies, LLC
- Kinetic Technologies, Inc.
Learn More About Ergonomic Solutions
Can’t wait for the EASE Council’s MODEX education session to gather fresh insights into the latest ergonomic manufacturing solutions? The members of the Ergonomic Assist Systems & Equipment (EASE) Council of MHI are always available to consult, answer questions, and make recommendations about safe equipment use.