Ergonomics is a common concern in food manufacturing plants today. Preventing worker injury and fatigue directly benefits a company's productivity and bottom line.

Many unintentional injuries and accidents occur during sanitation efforts. Most cleaning activities involve extensive spraying of hot water, and injuries can result from hours of gripping heavy, hot nozzles.

Carteret Packaging, a copacker located in Carteret, NJ, uses nozzles from Hydro-Pro 150's Strahman Valves to help solve the problem.

"We were very concerned about the health of our sanitation workers. Carpal tunnel syndrome and many other conditions can result from poorly designed equipment," says Michael Ott, production manager. "We had tried many different nozzles and consistently had problems of worker fatigue from employees who literally have to hold a nozzle for an entire eight-hour shift."

The Hydro-Pro 150's lightweight design is combined with a patented locking trigger mechanism to reduce fatigue. Workers can also select and set the spray pattern, eliminating the constant "squeeze" that most nozzles require.

Workers immediately noticed the difference with the new nozzles, according to Ott. "They are about half the weight of earlier nozzles and very comfortable to hold. There is also no discernible heat transfer to workers' hands, which was another common complaint," Ott says.

Carteret has been impressed with the nozzle's durability as well. "Equipment that we have had in the past required careful handling and was easily damaged," adds Ott. "The new nozzles have been dropped, scraped and banged during our test use and continued to work perfectly."

Strahman Valves Inc., 3 Vreeland Rd., Florham Park, NJ 07932 Tel.: (973) 377-4900; Fax: (973) 377-8288.