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5S Applied to an Essential Maintenance tool, the Jack Stand

Technology Improving Productivity - Increasing Safety and your bottom line


Legally the Transportation, Construction, Mining, Military, Aviation and Agriculture industries are all required to utilise jack stands during elevated equipment maintenance tasks. They are non-discretionary safety tools.

Conventional steel stands are heavy and bulky they are often stored in sub-optimal locations away from the workplace. These locations are often in the corner or if the stands are very bulky, outside the work area.

Storage areas pose hazards of their own. Users take time to access storage locations which may require double handling to manouver large and heavy stands. Retrieval often requires a forklift or a crane. This results in ongoing costs for businesses in their operation/organisation, wasting valuable time.


Workers tasked with lifting, pulling and pushing are almost always in awkward positions. These poor postures increase exposure and the risk of an MSD (Musculoskeletal Disorders) injury. MSD injuries account for ⅓ of all workplace injuries, losing thousands of work days annually.

Lastly, unsupported loads expose people to considerable risks when making a final positioning adjustment to any stand, especially when the risks of using conventional heavy and bulky stands are combined with the awkward positioning required by workers in these situations.

A Technological Advantage

A solution utilising very lightweight high strength composite materials for this application reduces the risk of injury associated with manual handling. Importantly there is a significant productivity improvement through the use of such stands given their easy accessibility for handling, storage and implementation in the work area. Therefore such products provide the businesses that use them with the following benefits:

Benefits to Users

Reduction in the requirement for pushing, pulling stress and strain moving a lighter object. A composite stand is typically less than  ⅓ of the weight to a comparably rated steel stand. For example, a 15-tonne capacity Composite stand weighs around 8kgs a typical conventional steel stand weighs 25-30Kgs. A 30-tonne Composite stand weighs less than 15kgs, conventional 40-50kgs. A higher capacity Composite stand rated +80 tonne weighs in excess of 100kgs less than a steel comparison.

Consequently, it’s easier for your workforce to store and manouver the lighter Composite stands around the workplace. Utilisation of the associated placement hook negates the requirement to access an unsupported load.

Here is a short 23-second clip that shows the stands and how easy they are to handle. The placement hook manages the line of fire and the easy storage in an organised manner. www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEDdZRtiMTI

Composite stands are light enough to store off the ground, allowing storage in the intended location close to the place of work. Significantly reducing the footprint for those that measure efficiency per square meter/foot in their business. This minimises the time taken to access deployment, storage and ease of cleaning.

In one particular example, the utilisation of Composite stands removed the requirement of a two-man lift and the necessity for a forklift to transport the steel stands. Calculations showed an average saving of 15 minutes per placement across a large workshop, averaging 1.5 movements per bay/per week. The results recovered the capital required to replace all existing stands. The ongoing time saved increased revenue with no additional costs in the workshop.

5S Brief Overview

The advantages of Composite stands are compelling for any organisation that considers the 5S (or in fact the 6S) methodology for improving operations. 5S is a workplace organization method that applies a list of 5 Japanese words that have been translated to the following;

  1. Sortreduce time lost looking for items, reduced distraction, simply inspection, optimise space, improve safety by elimination obstacles        
  2. Set in orderMake the workflow smooth and easy – Arrange workplace such that tooling & equipment is in proximity, easy to reach – Make easy to find and pick up – Assign fixed locations for items so they are easily returned and easily spot missing items.
  3. Shine/Sweep Cleaning and Inspection – Ease of identifying problems
  4. Standardise – Repetition of steps 1-3
  5. Sustain – Audit to ensure 5s approach is followed – Training – Improvements wherever possible – Worker inputs very valuable for identifying improvements

This methodology organises a workplace for efficiency and effectiveness by identifying and storing the items required, maintaining the area and items, and sustaining the improvements implemented. Increasingly, 5S has become 6S, the sixth element being safety.

Using Composite Stands adds significant value to any business that uses conventional stands to support elevated equipment in maintenance tasks, and achieve all the objectives noted above. Importantly the capital cost to replace conventional stands with Composite Stands has been shown time and again to be recovered within a short timeframe through substantially improved productivity and reduced time to complete a given task. Even before the potential costs of workplace injuries by using conventional steel stands are considered.