Why Barrel Hoists Are Good For Staff Well Being

Barrel hoists are an essential piece of kit for lifting or lowering barrels in public houses, restaurants and nightclubs. Most beer barrels are stored in cellars in the basement of the establishment.  Loading and unloading the barrels require a lot of heavy lifting and manoeuvring which causes injury to staff. Using barrel hoists to do the heavy work reduces injury and staff absence due to back problems.

Back pain causes over 12 million work days to be lost each year.  This has a financial impact on both staff and employers. People on zero-hours contract are not paid during their absence, those with contracts require sickness pay and employers have to recruit cover staff.  Many incidents of back pain are as a result of work-related injuries.

Government legislation such as the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment 1998 go some way to protect employees from incurring skeletal damage at work.  Ultimately it is the responsibility of the employer to ensure the health and safety of staff is a priority in the workplace. They accomplish this by having a good health and safety policy, staff training and labour saving equipment.

The Cost Of Back Pain

Back pain affects 1 in 10 people and is increasingly becoming the main cause of disability.  People become more prone to back pain as they get older which doesn’t bode well as this age range is increasing.  The cost of back pain due to workplace injuries is an eye-watering £15 billion. With the bulk of it (£8.6 billion) falling on the individual while employers and the government have to pay out £3 billion and £3.4 billion respectively.  

Lower back pain is a debilitating condition that lowers the quality of life of most sufferers.  It is not generally due to a particular disease and bad posture, bending and lifting heavy objects incorrectly are the main causes.  Most jobs cause people to have back pain if they do not move their body’s correctly. The most common jobs that cause the condition are construction workers, nurses/carers, warehouse workers and dentists.  Even people who work on computers a lot are likely to suffer back pain if they have bad posture.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has issued guidelines on how to prevent back pain in the workplace and how to help employees suffering from it.  Most of the advice involves making provision to make physically demanding jobs easier, asking about staff wellbeing, conducting risk assessments and training for staff.  A company who looks after their staffs back and knees is likely to operate smoothly with fewer interruptions.

How Barrel Hoists Help

Beer barrels are very heavy and an awkward shape.  They even sound heavy when they are being transferred from the lorry to the cellar.  Barrels are stored below ground where all of the pipes and connectors are located. Getting the barrels into storage is heavy and physically demanding work.  Barrel hoists lower the barrels into the cellar reducing the amount of bending and stretching by employees. They are simple in design and only require a single 240V supply.  

Using barrel hoists reduces the number of work-related injuries and demonstrates that employers are looking after their staff well being.  All barrel hoists are built to individual specifications and meet the current European Directive 90/269/EEC for Health & Safety for the manual handling of loads.

If you would like to find out more about barrel hoists contact us and we would be happy to offer advice.

How Many Types Of Lifts Are There?

Lifts have revolutionised all aspects of life allowing buildings to be accessible and to improve deliveries and services in many different industries.  A lift is simply a platform that moves up and down carrying either people or products. Presently there are five main types of lifts; barrel hoists, disability platform lifts, Mezzanine Goods Lifts, scissor table lifts and service lifts.

Archimedes invented the very first lift in 336 BC using a simple open carriage contraption pulled up vertically using hoists.  The very first lifts were manually operated by people, animals and occasionally wheels. They were used to transport water, building materials and other heavy objects with ease.

The Romans continued to use these types of lifts for many years contributing to the rise of the Roman Empire.  King Louis XV commissioned the very first passenger lift in 1743 to carry him up to his mistress’ apartments on the second floor.  The technology was very much the same as the lifts the Romans used. Lifts became mechanically operated in the 1800’s due to advances in technology. (Source: Gizmodo.com)

Barrel Hoists

Barrel hoists lift barrels and cylindrical objects between floors in licensed premises, public houses and restaurants.  They are simple to operate and maintain and only require a 240-volt single phase supply. Constant pressure push buttons provide complete control during all aspects of the operation. A braked motor interlinked to a sprocket assembly with twin chains enables equal distribution of the load.  Two cantilevered steel arms support the load within the mainframe.

The barrel hoist is able to transport beer kegs, drums and gas cylinders to different levels regardless of their awkward shape.  Compliance with European safety regulations results in a safe working environment with no risk of personal injury.

Disability Platform Lifts

Disability platform lifts enable businesses and visitors centres to comply with the 2010 Equality Act.  They allow people with mobility issues, breathing difficulties, low energy and heart conditions to enjoy work and pleasure without restrictions.  People with disabilities are able to effortlessly move between different levels on a simple platform using constant pressure buttons. There is a call station at every landing stage and the lift is able to operate between two to six floors.

Each lift has a capacity of 400 kg which is approximately four people.  The mechanism is a screw and nut assembly powered by 380/3/50 vac electric motor.  Flooring is none slip and each lift is self-supporting with only the landing stages connected to the building structure.  Access to the lift is either via a ramp or level access at floor level.

Mezzanine Goods Lifts

Mezzanine goods lifts make it possible to move goods, cartons, pallets and other large deliveries without manual intervention. Each lift is individually designed to suit the environment it is operating in.  

They are self-supporting structures with fixings at each floor level. Access is via a ramp or shallow pit area. There is an electronic push button at each level with safety gates.  All Mezzanine goods lifts comply with the Essential Safety Requirements of machinery safety regulations.

Scissor Table Lifts

Scissor table lifts are used to load trucks and unload goods in order to place them in storage.  They are available with single, double or triple vertical scissors depending on the length of the platform.  Every unit is designed to accommodate each individuals companies requirements in relation to the platform size and lifting height.

They can be installed in either a pit or at floor level with the option of a concertina safety mesh around the perimeter.  Hydraulic power packs drive the lifts either mounted or remotely depending on its size. Work cradles can be mounted onto the structure if required.

A full perimeter pressure safety bar causes the lift to stop immediately if there is an obstruction when it is being lowered. The lifts are built to comply with the essential safety requirements of machinery safety regulations.

Service Lifts

Service lifts are traditionally known as, ‘Dumb Waiters’, because they transport food and dirty dishes to and from the kitchen.  They are set at a height which makes unloading and loading comfortable for the user. They are also referred to as under bar lifts and are supplied with either a 50 kg or 100 kg capacity. The maximum distance is 4000 mm between each floor.

They are operated by a push button call station with lights to indicate progress.  A sprocket and chain drive drives the lift and is mounted in a machine room at the top of the lift.  Food grade stainless steel is used and the machinery complies with the essential requirements of machinery safety regulations.  Challenger Dumb waiters also carry a CE mark.

If you would like to find out more about the different lifts we manufacture please contact us.