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Conveyors are common equipment found in industry. They are used to move products and supplies in and out of a work site, from one part of the plant to another, and between workstations. Conveyors are found in all kinds of assembly operations, ranging from microelectronics to the automotive industry. Conveyors can be powered or unpowered, roller or belt, overhead or on the floor.
Factors such as the conveyor's height, width, speed and position in relation to the worker determine the overall workload and the way workers do their job. To lessen the likelihood of adverse effects when working on a conveyor line ergonomic and design issues have to be considered.
Wherever the tasks at the conveyor require wide-ranging bodily motion and/or physical exertion, then the work should be done from a standing position.
Conveyor height should be determined by the degree of exertion required and the dimensions of the objects being moved or worked upon. A height range of 65 to 120 cm can accommodate the majority of the workforce and a variety of tasks. As most conveyors have a fixed height surface, one recommendation is to adjust the belt to a height suitable for the tallest workers, and to provide adjustable work platforms or chairs for shorter workers. More information on working in standing positions can be found in our OSH Answers section under:
In all cases, consider that the more a worker is exposed, the higher the risk of developing injuries.
The pace of work must consider the time required for rest and recovery, and the length of time that the worker performs the tasks.