Posted at 01 February 2019

Making Safety Part and Parcel of the Job

The job of parcel sorting at TNT involved frequent knee to shoulder-height lifting, of packages mostly weight 3-12kg. However, 15% weigh as much as 20kg. With workers spending on average two hours a day, five days a week, lifting these parcels, it’s not surprising that injuries – particularly those in the lower spine – were common.

parcel lifting


To protect employees without losing productivity or slowing down operations, TNT began the search for a lifting system which could handle at least 75% of its packages. And to complicate the matter, they wanted a simple-to-operate system, equally suitable for right- and left-handers.

Lift in productivity

Extensive desk research convinced the company that Piab’s Vaculex TP vacuum-based tube lifter was the ideal ergonomic handling solution. However, to ensure a well-informed choice, Piab and TNT jointly commissioned an independent comparative study by Xdin.

The study comprehensively analysed the ergonomics of TNT’s work processes, using the proven Methods-time Management technique. This analyses the working time of manual processes and assesses how changes in them may affect productivity. The study found that the Piab Vaculex TP tube lifter improved the sorting process in several ways.

41% safer lifting

TNT’s concern for the health and safety of its employees led them to commission further analysis – this time, to provide information on occupational health and safety issues.

Carried out by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, the method focused on analysis of the combined effects of an activity rather than a single operation.

Based on this analysis, using the vacuum lifter reduces the health risks of TNT parcel sorting personnel by 41%. Although the original aim was for 75% of parcels to be lifted by the system, 99% are now handled using the Vaculex TP lifter.

Safer and healthier employees, higher productivity, better working conditions – that’s TNT parcels SORTED.


Read the Complete Article: Know+How Magazine Issue 36 Industrial Digitalisation

There is no denying the prospect of industrial digitalisation is both exciting and daunting in equal measure and no doubt each of you will be at different stages on the road to digital transformation. 

In our latest edition we want to help demystify this familiar buzzword into tangible day-to-day processes. We'll be providing you with an update on the latest news and technology available, taking an in-depth look at Industry 4.0 and all that comes with it, outlining some ways in which the industry can work together.

See pages 42-43!

Related Articles

Join the Conversation

Subscribe to our News, Products & Services

Latest Articles

Take a look at our latest updates...

Full steam ahead - Scottish distillery with Grundfos

Nick Lees

There’s steam and there’s high-quality steam. There are pump solutions and intelligent pump solution...

Delivering for the dairy - greater milking efficiency with ERIKS and Spirax

Nick Lees

Leaking control valves were leaving a dairy product manufacturer feeling pretty cheesed off. Fortuna...

How to Contact ERIKS

Get in Touch

For all general enquiries use the Enquire Online form - we'll connect you with the best member of our team for your query.  Alternatively, look up your local service centre...

Got a Technical Question?

We are proud to boast a strong team of technical specialists in each of our product and service areas. If you have a technical question a member of our team would be happy to help. 

Share Your Thoughts

At ERIKS we strive to deliver the best quality service and products. As part of this goal we encourage customers to submit feedback on their experiences so we can resolve any issues and concerns.