Lifting the lid on manufacturing vessels
These tanks incorporate a hinged manway cover on the permanent lid which is opened six times (at a required force of 6kg) during their cycle of use which sees them moved around the department.
Opening the manway cover of the tank is a risk because of static loading and the weight of the load involved. The operator lifts the lid above shoulder/head height directly after adopting a statically loaded position to unscrew the clamps holding down the lid. This puts extreme strain on the wrist and shoulder. In some cases operators also needed to stand on the base of the tank to reach to open the lid. Checking the vessel after washing and sanitising takes place in the washbay where the operator is dealing with a hot tank with limited space for manoeuvre.
A dedicated tool to open and close the lids was provided. This tool is a length of stainless steel with a hook on one end and a handle on the other. The hook is big enough not to slide around on the manway cover handle while the non-slip handle is large enough to give good grip without adding to the weight. Using the hook the operator can involve the whole body in moving the manway cover.
While they still need to unscrew the clamps on the cover, improvement initiatives means they do so less often as the clamps are not fastened unless they need to be.
- The risk of manual handling injury has been significantly reduced by this improvement.
- Static loading and wrist strain has been removed.
- The cost was negligible.