Spotting opportunities for improved safety at Lindab Steel
Factories and production lines have always faced challenges when it comes to protecting workers and maintaining operations. Accidents, however rare, must always be prevented as far as humanly and logistically possible. The margin for error is often little to none. In work environments with heavy machinery and in Lindab Steel’s case, foil rolls sometimes weighing several hundred kilos, accident prevention is of the utmost importance. With help from VPG, Lindab Steel’s cutting machine has been equipped with a platform that safely lifts the operator to the appropriate working height instead of the operator using ladders and stairs.
Erik Dahllöf, Sales Mgr at VPG, was visiting Lindab’s factory on another matter and during his visit an additional opportunity to improve safety, ergonomics and operations presented itself. In cooperation with Lindab’s staff, including Production Engineer Patrik Hayes, a risk assessment of the cutting machine was conducted. Together they investigated ways to reduce the risk of accidents and improve ergonomics for operators.
Production Engineer Patrik Hayes, Lindab Steel
The cutting machine is an important part of the production line. It straightens the sheet metal before it’s cut to the appropriate length, anywhere from 300 mm to 4000 mm long pieces. The machine is elevated and therefore can be cumbersome for operators to work with, increasing the risk of accidents. Before the new platform was installed operators had to use stairs, ladders and even stand on their toes on top of the machine to properly adjust and set up for production,
“Ergonomically the pros are substantial. Previously operators had to work with their hands above shoulder height. Now we can lift the operator to the correct working height no matter how tall or short they are.” says Patrik Hayes.
Work related accidents are not only catastrophic for the person or people involved, whenever accidents happen it’s extremely costly for a company, on average 100.000 Euro.
Safe lifting of the operator to appropriate working height at the cutting machine
“The cutting machine runs 24×7 and it’s incredibly costly if operations come to a halt. Our first priority is always the health and safety of our workers but maintaining production is of course key as well.” Patrik adds.
Operators are very happy with the new platform, not only sparing their physical well-being but also helping them work more efficiently at the correct working height.
“No matter how much an operator values quality, if you spend too much time in an uncomfortable position quality will be affected over time. Investing in safer and more ergonomic solutions for workers will always give you returns on your investment, many times over.” says Erik.
The end result of the project can only be said to be a huge success, appreciated by all involved parties,
“Right now it’s full steam ahead and everyone is very happy with the lifting platform solution.” Patrik concludes.
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