Woolworths Improves Safety and Efficiency with Safetech
March 30, 2017
Industry: Food and Beverage
The Melbourne Woolworths DC regularly takes delivery of shipping containers that are manually unloaded onto pallets that are then stretch wrapped for storage in the DC.
The operators are unloading goods from inside the shipping containers onto pallets sitting on the floor. To reduce some of the back stresses whilst palletising, staff would place three pallets high on the floor and begin loading at a more comfortable working height.
Using a couple of pallets to raise the height of the load created was a poor ergonomic solution to the stresses and created other handling issues. The pallet load was too high once the load was formed and the operators couldn’t remove the load from the container easily. Loading goods below waist height on the floor, twisting back and forth between the container load and pallet load was unsuitable and dangerous. Staff were straining their backs and becoming fatigued very early in their shift.
Safetech trialled a Palift inside the container that enabled the operators to palletise at a safe working height. As Palift slowly lowered the pallet load was built and stretching and bending were eliminated as a risk to the workers. The ease of positioning and operating Palift was a big plus for the workers. As a work method it was a clear winner over any other trialled or proposed solutions. The fork lift operator would then remove the Palift with the load, then replace the unit with an empty pallet.