Monday, July 25, 2011

Baked Safely

Even cake decorating has its job hazards. Just ask the bakers at Zingerman’s Bakehouse in Ann Arbor, MI. But, by applying some basic ergonomics principles, many of those risks can be eliminated or reduced. That’s what a group of safety professionals learned during a recent ergonomic design workshop sponsored by Humantech. At a bakery, risks include lifting and pouring bulk-sized bags of ingredients such as flour or sugar, or twisting and extended reaching when stirring large vats of batter, not to mention inserting and removing items from deep industrial-sized ovens. Effective ergonomics plans can cut costs attached to overexertion injuries related to these tasks and leave workers pain free, making safety in the workplace, well, a piece of cake.
Apparently, Zingerman bakers are happy with the improvements made following the workshop. Better yet, Tracie Wolfe, human resources analyst at Zingerman’s, says the tools she learned will be of great value when the company’s renovates its deli.