Test results: Container loader makes good ’ergonomic’ sense
An expert in occupational ergonomics has carried out a study on Lifts All’s Container Loading System (CLS). The test compared the effects of manual lifting versus using the CLS. The results showed that using the CLS completely eliminated disc compressions – a common cause of severe back injuries.
At airports all around the world, the average baggage handler will often lift up to 5 tons of baggage a day. These bags sometimes weigh as much as 50 kg each. The work is physically demanding and very often leads to back and shoulder injuries, which in turn lead to sick-leave. The likelihood of this happening depends on how the act of lifting is carried out.
In September 2019, Head of Ergonomics at Ergo Human Performances, Ben Zavitz, carried out a study on manual lifting compared to lifting with the CLS. The study was carried out at Newark Airport, New York. Sensors were placed on the backs and shoulders of the baggage handlers, to measure their muscle activity as they lifted the bags. These test volunteers lifted bags from both high and low conveyor belts into a baggage container – the aim of the test being to garner results from carrying out the heaviest and most demanding lifting scenario imaginable.
Eliminating spinal disc compression
The results of the study showed that the CLS greatly reduced the ergonomic risks associated with lifting baggage manually. Instead of lifting the bag, the baggage handler only needed to push it forward, which took minimal effort. This minimal effort reduces back-and-shoulder muscle work, which is pivotal to reducing the risk of injury. Lifting with the CLS also eliminates the highest peaks of damaging spinal disc compressions, when compared to manual lifting.
Furthermore, the test showed that with proper training and good technique, the CLS can actually reduce muscle activity in the back by 55% and the shoulders by 37%. This underlines the importance of correct CLS training for the baggage handler before they begin using the units.