Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Changing Plow Wear Blades/Cutting Edge

City of Staples pallet jack/jig
The plowing season has just begun.  The community counts on city staff to make roads safe and passable for day-to-day commerce, holiday travel, emergency response and more.  Losing a co-worker to injury means longer hours for those still on the clock and, at times, delays getting the job done. 

City of Pelican Rapids floor jack/jig
Plow blades weigh from approximately 40 to 125 pounds, depending on the type and length of the blade used.  Minimizing risk factors now is a pro-active way to reduce back and other injuries throughout the season.  Check out what some cities in Minnesota are doing to protect their employees.  If you've got an idea to share please let us know and we'll post it here for everyone to see!

Many cities have successfully developed a system to move the replacement blade into position and lift it using some type of jacking device. Most often this is a floor jack with a jig inserted in the jack that holds the blade in an upright position.  Other types of jack devices include:  motorcycle lift, transmission jack, pallet jack, or a device specially designed for this purpose.

Moving new and old wear blades around the shop can be accomplished by the using a cart like this made by the City of Crosby.

City of Crosby
Manually lifting the blade into place can contribute to sprain/strain injuries, and even amputations. Using equipment to lift and support the blade can reduce the ergonomic risk factors which include: excessive weight, excessive force, contact stress, and awkward postures.

By Joe Ingebrand