Though workplace safety risks are sometimes easy to miss, their subtlety doesn’t make employees any safer. As a matter of fact, American businesses lose $13.4 billion each year to just one type of overlooked safety hazard, musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Food service is one of the many industries that can be affected by these kinds of injuries that often result from seemingly small, repetitive tasks.
Why Ergonomic Food Service Equipment is Necessary
Any company or institution with a food service component could be vulnerable to MSD risk without even knowing it. One of the reasons food service is generally overlooked as a source of safety risk is because the work involves seemingly simple movements and short distances. It’s often assumed that these minor tasks won’t cause injury — but that’s not true. Even small tasks can add up to serious long-term injuries, such as carpal tunnel, chronic back pain, and serious strains and sprains.
For example, pushing heavy food service carts is enough to cause an MSD because it is a repetitive task that stresses the body over time. Additionally, pushing a food service cart over ramps and carpeting may further contribute to the problem, especially when moving food over longer distances and between facilities. Eventually, the discomfort employees may think is just “part of the job” costs companies serious money and leads to higher rates of employee turnover.
How Standard & Custom Food Service Carts & Equipment Solves the Problem
There are a variety of cost effective ways to design a food service cart that can prevent injury to employees. One option is to use a standard motorized utility cart with convenient shelving and storage attached. Tuggers for pulling multiple existing food service carts at once might be another available solution. Easily-implemented options like these are quick and cost effective for the right application.
When a standard equipment model won’t adequately meet the customer’s needs, custom motorized equipment may be used. For example, some companies may need custom configurations, water resistance, or unique shelving and containers. To address one customer’s concerns in a challenging setting, Electro Kinetic Technologies built tamper-resistant tuggers without detachable power cords, removable pins, or standard nuts and screws. Another custom option is to add existing or new food service equipment onto the deck of a standard motorized platform cart.
Customers may also purchase motorized carts and augment them with their own existing equipment. They could even use a Retrofit Kit to motorize a manual food service cart if they like, if they have the ability to modify a cart in-house. The engineers at Electro Kinetic Technologies can be a big help in sorting through the options, including custom needs. Whatever solution our customers settle on, we want to ensure that it will truly solve the problem and make the most of the customer’s investment.
For more information on ergonomic food service carts, contact one of our engineers here.