Actuator technology to improve ergonomics in construction machinery
News January 10, 2019

Why ergonomics matters in construction machinery

When talking about construction, work ergonomics has often been overlooked or rarely discussed. Sometimes ergonomics has even been dismissed as a thing only for office or production workers. However, that is a costly mistake.

In the UK alone around 80,000 construction workers suffer from illnesses they believe were caused or aggravated by their daily job. According to the British Health and Safety Executive (HSE), 65% of these ailments are cases of so-called Musculoskeletal Disorders – or MSDs.

A total of 6.6 million working days are lost due to MSDs in the UK each year, and more than a third of these are back disorders (40%). Naturally, this is costly. An estimate from the British Institution of Civil Engineers states that MSDs in British Construction costs employers £646 million annually. However, improving ergonomics can help bring that number down.

Improve working postures to minimize MSDs
Poor working postures are one of the culprits when it comes to MSDs – also within construction. For example, hours of sedentary work inside the driver’s cab of a construction vehicle is a recipe for MSDs. However, several easily implemented initiatives can help lighten the burden on drivers and increase their comfort. Just allowing construction workers to adjust the control panel in order to vary their working positions between sitting and standing improves the situation significantly. 

Why ergonomics matters in construction machinery

This has, for example, been the case for the Swedish-based mining-tech expert, Sandvik, which has implemented several adjustment options in some of their large construction machinery.

“Improved ergonomics is a clear indicator of the fact that Sandvik wants to develop and offer the best quality operator environment in the world,” says Mika Väisänen, Project Engineer from the Product Development Department at Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology. 

Read the full story about Sandvik.

Several adjustable solutions to improve ergonomics
It is all about fitting the job to the employee. Construction workers and drivers of construction vehicles are as different in size and shape as the rest of us, and the workstation needs to be flexible to fit the person operating it.

LINAK already offers electric actuator solutions to adjust control panels, accelerators, brake and clutch pedals, as well as seats – all to enable personalized settings for the driver to avoid painful MSDs, and to help entrepreneurs minimize the loss of working days. All our actuator solutions are characterized by easy installation – even when space is limited. Compact products and only a few cables make integration painless too.

Adjustable cabine pult
 

Ergonomics matters – also within construction! 

If you want to know more about what LINAK can do for construction vehicles, visit the Construction solutions site. You are also welcome to contact your local LINAK office for more information. 

 

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