How United Heartland Helped One Manufacturer Improve Their Material Handling Practices

For those working in manufacturing, the risks of injury remain a day-to-day concern. Consider that in 2014, the manufacturing sector was second only to the health care industry when it came to reported days-away-from-work incidents. The 125,990 reported cases represented a 5% increase from 2013. Fatal injuries also increased in the sector for 2014 with a 9% increase reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics from the previous year.

It’s these types of statistics that illustrate how important it is for our manufacturing customers to collaborate with United Heartland on developing safety protocols and practices. For Janesville, Wis.-based Monterey Mills, a UH policyholder, the organization realized a need to improve some of their manual material handling exposures. Our UH Loss Control experts recommended creating an Ergonomics Team to identify high-hazard areas and develop engineering controls to reduce these exposures.

This process included:

  • Identifying key members of the team.
  • Training the team on ergonomics and the ways to control hazards, such as through administrative controls and personal protective equipment.
  • Identifying and prioritizing high-hazard areas.
  • Videotaping jobs and reviewing them as a group to discuss possible solutions.
  • Implementing and testing recommended solutions.
  • Reviewing progress during scheduled Ergonomics Team meetings and repeating the process for any newly identified exposures.

While the process took time to establish, Monterey Mills’ Ergo Team is now a self-sufficient group that regularly updates us on their projects, utilizes our United Heartland experts as a sounding board for ideas and has achieved many successes to the benefit of their many employees.

This is an example of why United Heartland’s Manufacturing Loss Control Campaign is so valuable to our manufacturing customers. We’ve developed a pool of resources and information that focuses on the many hazards that can arise in the manufacturing sector and how to protect against them. Topics addressed include job safety analysis, ergonomics, machine safeguarding, electrical safety and more. Visit our campaign website to find links to these topics and to access our downloadable materials. We’re confident you’ll find these useful to share with your employees as you help guide them to safer work practices.

As always, please contact your loss control representative with questions, or call us at 1-800-258-2667.