With a plethora of fatal crane accidents peppering the news this year, crane and hoist manufacturers are taking some safety cues from their ergonomically-savvy brethren in the material handling industry. Joining with the Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA) to form the just-launched Overhead Alliance (OA) group, crane, hoist and monorail industry organizations will be promoting alternative methods of lifting and moving materials that reduce accidents, improve workplace health and safety, reduce product damage, improve workflow, lower costs and reduce environmental impact.

Focusing the combined resources of the Crane Manufacturers Association of America (CMAA), Hoist Manufacturers Institute (HMI) and Monorail Manufacturers Association (MMA), OA will give these affiliated trade associations a common voice within the material handling community. Over the next year, OA plans to launch a campaign promoting safer, healthier, greener alternatives to traditional lift trucks for lifting and moving materials, including the use of bridge, gantry and jib cranes and hoists. Not only are lift trucks notorious gas guzzlers, they account for the majority of serious and fatal material handling accidents.

OA will make its national debut at MHIA’s ProMat international exposition in January 2009 where it plans to emphasize the “lean and green” (i.e. ergonomic and energy efficient) benefits of overhead lifting to handle materials. Safe procedures for manual handling and ergonomic lifting that are designed to improve workplace safety and protect workers’ health are also on OA’s promotion agenda.

Material handling equipment that minimizes manual lifting and carrying prevents injuries. The U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports that back injuries, primarily from improper lifting and carrying of light loads, cost American businesses $10 to $14 billion in workers’ compensation costs and nearly 100 million work days annually.

A world-leader in the production of ergonomic carts for moving and lifting material and equipment, DJ Products manufactures ergonomically-designed, energy-efficient electric and battery-powered cart pullers, pushers and scissors lifts. Already “lean and green,” DJ Products material handling equipment is built to be energy-efficient while maximizing the health and safety of your workers. Visit our website for complete information on DJ Products equipment for manufacturers, warehouses, logistics centers, retailers, hospitals and the hospitality industry.