Fehrenbacher, D., and Wick, John, L., 1995, A Successful Back Injury Reduction Program, Advances in Industrial Ergonomics and Safety VII.
Manual Material Handling tasks are one of the major sources of back injuries among workers. Delivery of heavy or bulky products, especially with high frequency of lifts, is contributing to the back injuries of many workers. Workers at Pepsico, including Delivery Drivers, had to manually handle heavy bottled liquid packed in case lots which were in awkward locations. The task required high frequency and short period of rests. Workers had to deliver soft drinks to the next delivery point or small retail stores.
Citation of the company by Hawaii Devision of Occupational Safety and Health (HOSHA) for not providing a safe workplace with regard to back injuries, specifically naming the Route Driver job in March 1991.
Increasing numbers of back injury cases during 1988 and 1989 (15 injury reports).
Lifting and pulling of heavy products was required to perform the task.
Bending and extended reaching was required to grasp heavy objects.
All workers that perform the tasks now have reduced exposure to back injury risk factors.
Engineering Controls and appropriate design changes, along with effective training, make up the best approach to injury reduction in workplaces.