Last year, non-fatal workplace injuries cost U.S. companies $62 billion in worker compensation, according to the 2016 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index.
Of that amount, companies spent a whopping $15.1 billion on injuries related to lifting, pushing and pulling objects. And injuries related to repetitive motions cost them another $1.8 billion.
People have an increased risk for injury when they perform repetitive work for long periods of time. Hand wrapping pallet loads of product is a common way warehouse workers experience repetitive strain injuries.
While hand wrapping a person must bend over and pull film tightly to apply it to the load while walking-in circles for about two to four (very long) minutes. So it makes sense that warehouse workers are at least eight times more likely to suffer back problems than other types of workers.
Not only is hand wrapping dangerous for your employees, it’s a huge productivity and money drain.
Machines can wrap loads more consistently, safer and cheaper. If you replace hand wrapping with a modern stretch wrapper, you can easily reduce injuries, material and labor costs. Plus, you’ll improve employee morale and retention.
Most modern stretch wrappers can pre-stretch stretch film between 200 and 300 percent.
Pre-stretch is the process of elongating the film to increase its yield. Inside the film delivery system two rollers operate at two different speeds to stretch the film as it pays out of the film delivery system. For example, if the machine is equipped with 200 percent pre-stretch, it can turn 6,000 sq. ft. roll of film into 18,000 sq. ft.
If a company hand wraps 50 loads a day, they could lose about $35,000 in film costs over five years. That’s a lot!
Machines can also help you eliminate a large chunk of the labor associated with hand wrapping.
Operators no longer have to spend hours a day walking in circles to apply film to a load. They can press a button to start a wrap cycle, and then go perform productive tasks while the machines wraps the load.
Let people do what they’re good at - decision making and critical thinking and let machines do what they’re good at - repetitive work.
To learn more about how using a stretch wrapper can replace your hand wrapping operation, visit Lantech.com.
This post was published on March 30, 2016 and updated on February 23, 2018.