Women in Public Works
Organizations are addressing staffing needs and encouraging workforce diversity by providing state of the art technology to provide a safer and more efficient work environment for men and women. Underground infrastructure maintenance can be physically challenging. Manually lifting manhole covers can expose workers to the risk of injury and inefficient work performance.
The City of Milwaukee is pairing a member of their field staff with The Lifter to perform essential job duties. The Lifter eliminates the physical challenge and safety risk presented by manually removing heavy access covers. Covers are removed with the simple push of a button on a hand held remote. Sarah Babe has the following story:
"I am an Engineering Technician for the Stormwater Department in the City of Milwaukee. Mainly, I test the storm water that flows out of our storm sewers into our many rivers, creeks, and streams, as well as Lake Michigan. We call this Outfall Testing. Keeping our freshwater clean is very important to the City of Milwaukee and I get to help with that."
"The Lifter helps me lift the 300+lb manhole lids that I encounter in the field. When I am Outfall Testing I can run into long lines of large and heavy manhole lids that I need to open. The Lifter helps me open those manholes without the risk of a pretty awful lifting-related injury. I don't come home completely exhausted from lifting very heavy things all day anymore, thanks to The Lifter. Surprisingly enough, The Lifter starts a lot of conversations with residents of the City of Milwaukee as well. A lot of people like seeing The Lifter work and are super-impressed with it."
"I will tell you this, The Lifter takes a beating. I am not easy on my equipment, and It gets used frequently. The Lifter is super-easy to use. As far as safety is concerned, the Lifter is a no-brainer. If your employer is balking at the price, you may want to look up the average cost of a back injury to an employer and see what they have to say after they see the comparison."
Sarah Babe, She/They, Engineering Technician II - Stormwater City of Milwaukee Environmental Engineering Section