June 18, 2021
Safety: Frazier’s Ergonomic Pallet Rack Solutions

Safety continues to be a critical topic across supply chain and warehousing. Workers’ compensation claims remain high which ultimately lead to injury, decrease in productivity and loss of workforce. By focusing on safety, warehouses can seriously reduce these issues in their operations. Frazier continues to enhance our product offerings, so safety is at the forefront of our solutions.

According to MHI Solutions, one third to half of workers’ compensation claims come from material handling. MHI advises that 25% of all injuries related to material handling originate from “improperly lifting, carrying, pushing, or pulling something repetitively, or by attempting to manipulate a load too heavy to be handled manually”. Why is this happening? Look no further than an Aging Workforce and the lack of ergonomic solutions within many distribution centers.

Frazier’s Ergonomic Pallet Rack Solutions

Ergo-Label Beam® Ergonomic Pallet Rack

A picker safely accesses cases from the opening created by the Ergo-Label® Beam.

While tasks like lifting and reaching cannot be eliminated entirely within a warehouse, they Should Be Reduced to a Minimum in order to prevent injury. Frazier has developed a patented Ergo Series® of ergonomic pallet rack solutions, which deliver greater safety when lifting and reaching cartons. One of the key features of the Ergo Series® design is its front shelf beam split into two separate curved beams to create a 16” to 22” opening for workers to access cartons:

“If you are floor picking cartons from the aisle, you have to reach from the front of the pallet load. That is up to 48” of reaching and results in a lot of strain”, explains Frazier EVP of Sales, Domenick Iellimo. “Ergo Series’® opening lets you access and pick from the side of the pallet, which is only 40” wide. It allows you to reduce over 15% of the distance you had to reach before”, Iellimo continues.

Ergo Series® pallet rack is available in two different options – Ergo-Label Beam® and Ergo Deep® – for different types of picking needs:

Ergo-Label Beam® protects against label damage.

The recessed web of the Ergo-Label Beam® prevents label damage by handling equipment.

Ergo-Label Beam® Pallet Rack

The Ergo-Label Beam® mounts to the racking upright at the second level, which is at about waist height. From the opening, workers can easily navigate their way to rear cartons without any extensive reaching.

As if that were not enough, the Ergo-Label Beam® also allows users to store their faster moving products (“A Movers”) at floor level and slower moving products (“B Movers”) on the beams where each can be safely picked at up to a 30% more productive rate. “You can only fit so many picking positions on the floor. Ergo-Label Beam® lets you add more than you otherwise could” according to Iellimo.

The beams themselves are ergonomically designed with a smooth surface that does not harm an employee who brushes up against it. In fact, the surface also uses a recessed web for an additional, different form of safety – label protection. The web prevents material handling equipment, like fork trucks, from shearing labels off the racking. Label protection has ramifications on worker safety too. If labels are damaged, they can be misread and result in incorrect picks. When making an incorrect pick, a worker can end up attempting to lift a case that is heavier than they expect it to be, and harm themselves. Undamaged, readable labels help to prevent this.

Ergo Deep® Pallet Rack

The Ergo Deep® variant is similar in its design to the Ergo-Label Beam®, however, sits closer to the floor. This is to create additional pick faces at the floor level and allow workers safer access, from which they have the leverage, to pick cartons.

Ergo Deep® Ergonomic Pallet Rack

A picker safely and easily accesses the rear pallet position of Ergo Deep® pallet rack.

“In a two-pallet deep application without Ergo Deep®, the only way to pick from the second position is to climb into the rack. That is an extremely unsafe practice because of the high probability of injury. Most warehouses ban climbing into the rack, but it occurs anyway”, says Iellimo. “Ergo Deep® creates a safe means of access to the second position that is otherwise missing and eliminates any thought of climbing from workers’ minds.”

Another advantage in safety and productivity from Ergo Deep’s® design is that the opening of the front shelf beams allows for full walkthrough access to the next aisle. Not only does this enable faster carton picking, but it also means decreased fork truck travel. The ensuing decrease in fork truck traffic reduces the opportunities for potential collision.

Like the Ergo-Label Beam®, all Ergo Deep® beams also have the recessed web for label protection. Iellimo adds, “There are no downsides to Ergo Deep® and users can only benefit from it.”

Add Ergo Series® To Your Warehouse

“Frazier is the only pallet rack manufacturer that can offer Ergo Series® pallet racking and its advantages are measurable. Our concept began with the Ergo-Label Beam® and shortly after we introduced the Ergo Deep®. I am really excited by the possibilities of where the design can continue to go in the future”, concludes Iellimo.

View of aisle to aisle walkthrough access via Ergo Deep® pallet rack.

View of aisle to aisle walkthrough access via Ergo Deep® pallet rack.

Frazier can design Ergo Series® applications from the bottom up or as retrofits to existing structural pallet rack systems (provided certain design criteria are met) for interested users. Boost your warehouse’s ergonomics with Frazier’s Ergo Series® to see a measurable improvement to employee safety and productivity. Contact Us today to learn more.