Van upfits are more than just for ease of use – they can also be a health and safety precaution that can save you money on Worker’s Comp insurance in the long-run. There are many ways in which ergonomic modifications to your cargo or work van can both prevent worker injuries and make your business more efficient on the road.
Here are some of the best ways to upfit your van or fleet to make it more ergonomic, less prone to causing injuries, and more efficient.
Prioritizing Regularly Used Equipment
An ergonomic van upfit can make your workers’ jobs a lot easier. Tools that are commonly used can be stored in more convenient locations, making them more accessible to workers. By doing so, the risk of injury to areas like the back or knees is significantly reduced.
Choice of Rack System
Several different options can help store equipment in safer and more efficient ways. Drop-down driver-side ladder racks provide easy access to ladders, with minimal effort and reduced strain from heavy lifting.
These rack systems allow workers to unload safely. Rather than having to strain to reach for ladders, they come to you.
Another useful ergonomic upfit is the implementation of pull-out cargo drawers. These allow access to equipment without needing to get in the back of the van. They enable the user to retrieve items while standing outside, minimizing awkward lifting in confined areas. Heavy equipment can be stored in these pull-out floor drawers making lifting safer and more accessible.
Installing a Ramp or Lift
Ramps and lifts are a great way to reduce heavy lifting and unnecessary repetitive actions, which could result in the development of an injury. They’re an efficient solution to loading and unloading a cargo van and will relieve workers from potential back strain. Lightweight platforms can be installed, making it easy to fold and unfold manually.
Improving Driver Comfort
Partitions for cargo separate the driver from the vehicle cabin and protect the equipment. However, they can sometimes be restrictive and prevent the driver from reclining their seatback. It is an issue for tall drivers and can cause long term discomfort and soreness.
These issues can be circumvented by installing recessed bulkheads. With recessed bulkheads, the driver can recline further without needing to move the entire partition.
LED lights can be a useful addition in a van uplift. They significantly improve visibility and help users locate a particular piece of equipment faster. From a health and safety point of view, additional lighting will reduce the risk of injury through tripping or hitting things. It’s also particularly useful at night when natural light isn’t available. Installing lights in critical areas such as side shelves can also be very helpful.
The Bottom Line
Van upfits can help you get the most out of your utility van while keeping everyone who uses them safe and injury-free. An upfitter can customize the vehicle to your company’s specific needs and requirements, whatever they may be. Not only will it provide more convenient ways to get the job done, but it will protect your workers from developing common injuries and pains associated with having to work in tight spaces.