The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) this week presented Safety Innovation Awards to four Ohio employers for developing innovative safety solutions.
First place with a cash prize of $6,000 was awarded to OMA member Francis Manufacturing Company, Russia.
A panel of independent judges evaluated and scored the innovations based on several criteria, including risk reduction, innovation, cost savings and potential for the innovation to be used by other employers.
Francis Manufacturing Company is a family owned aluminum sand foundry. The sand molding process required approximately 20 workers to shovel sand from floor level into molding machines. This could require workers to shovel more than 20,000 pounds of sand per nine-hour shift, increasing the risk of back and upper extremity injuries.
The company worked with Hapman, a material handling equipment company, to design a hopper-conveyor system. Workers now fill the hopper with a skid steer loader, eliminating the shoveling. The conveyor automatically dispenses sand into molds, further reducing upper extremity ergonomic risks.
Automating the molder’s sand handling has resulted in reduced absenteeism and increased production. Workers have reported increased energy at the end of shifts and have fewer complaints of back and shoulder pain.
Watch a video about the Hapman Sand Conveyance System. 3/7/2019