From The Ergoweb® Learning Center

Ergonomics- Recycle Warehouse Operation


CTD News, January 1996, vol. 5, No. 1, Avenor’s fitness on warm-up to ergonomics, Avenor’s Best Practices, CTD News.

Task Prior to Abatement (Description)

Workers had to cut off heavy wire wrappings with bolt cutters in the area where large bails of recycled paper are loaded off trucks. Then they had to pull the wire off the bails and use a fork truck to push the paper onto conveyor belts.

Task Prior to Abatement (Method Which Identified Hazard)

Medical records of work-related injury and illness rates have increased. About 20 percent of the 20 workers were reporting CTD-related symptoms.

There were increasing numbers of unreported work-related injuries/illnesses.

Ergonomic Risk Factor (Force)

Required firm gripping and pulling of the wires in awkward positions which attributed to injuries to the wrists and elbows.

Ergonomic Risk Factor (Posture)

Awkward postures required to perform the tasks.

Ergonomic Risk Factor (Repetition)

The task involved a varied number of repetitions.

Ergonomic Solution (Administrative Controls)

Training sessions covering CTD issues and postures were conducted at the workplace.

On-site interviews and job analyses were performed.

Strengthening exercises and fitness initiatives were recommended.

Ergonomic Solution (Engineering Controls)

The number of wires per bale was reduced.

The bolt cutter handles were padded.

Wrist supports with palm padding were provided.

Better lifting devices were provided.

Ergonomic Solution (Benefits)

The company reduced the direct costs of injuries, including CTDs by 94 percent since implementing the ergonomics programs.

All workers that perform the task now have reduced exposure to CTDs.

Reduction in workers’ compensation costs.

Ergonomic Solution (Method Which Verified Effectiveness)

In a six-month follow-up to the interventions, the CTD rate had been diminished to zero and there were no wrist and elbow problems.


The company’s efforts on ergonomic interventions is not only reactive, but proactive.