When OSHA releases its list of preventable workplace injuries every year, hand injuries always rank near the top, usually topping 1 million per year in the United States. Then the flood of articles remind us to wear industrial work gloves because 70% of reportable hand injuries happen when workers skip hand protection. The glove manufacturers run big ads telling us which industrial work gloves to buy for every type of workplace, material, temperature, or other condition.

But no one seems to be talking about eliminating these hand injuries entirely by eliminating the manual nature of the work that invites these cuts, scrapes and other hand injuries.

Every laceration averages a cost of $40,023.00. Every puncture averages $47,703.00 per OSHA statistics. Isn’t that expensive enough to think about updating your manual processes? And that’s without even mentioning the moral and regulatory responsibility to provide a safe workplace.

Years ago, we thought packaging and material handling pros would want to buy automated orbital wrapping machines for the speed, the increase in throughput – and of course they do want the productivity boost. But it turns out that a huge number of our customers considered the safety improvement even more important than the production improvement.

How Pallet Wrapping by Hand Invites Injuries

It might be surprising to learn how many companies expect their workers to manually wrap pallet loads in stretch wrap by hand. The standard process involves raising a pallet load on a forklift then passing a roll of stretch wrap over the load and under the pallet, back and forth between two workers as they try to get a tight wrap. Cuts from bumping into laser cut parts or other sharp products on the pallet are common. So are splinters from the pallet itself. The box cutters used to cut the end of the plastic film are always a danger to complacent hands and fingers. They also hope nothing falls off the pallet onto their heads.

For a number of owners and managers, witnessing this high risk pallet wrapping in their own plants triggered the search for a solution that led to automating the pallet wrapping process with the TAB Wrapper Tornado.

Charlie Mack of Macksteel probably said it better than anyone. “We just don’t get cuts from wrapping anymore and everyone feels better about doing the job right. With the TAB Wrapper, we’ve taken a task that nobody wanted to do and made it safer and easier. All my drivers love using it and that goes a long way towards building a culture of safety.”

As if getting a safer packaging department with happier workers isn’t enough, our orbital wrapping machines allow one worker to do the pallet wrapping instead of two or three workers – and get a better quality, tighter wrap in less time every time.

Learn more about how to eliminate hand injuries like at Macksteel here.