The greatest potential hazard of material aids at this workplace involved dollies and hand trucks. The danger is the possibility of losing the load. In the worst case, the load falls on the operator or someone just passing by.
Another hazard of dollies and hand trucks is overexertion. You put extra strain on your back and risk injury if you move a dolly the wrong way. This defeats the purpose of using a dolly in the first place.
Hazards lurk even with the simplest aids, like ropes and strapping, if you don’t know what you’re doing. Using the wrong rope for the job can mean dropping a load, and the sharp end and edges of steel and plastic straps can cause injuries if they’re not handled properly.
To prevent injuries with dollies and hand trucks, you have to know how to select, load, and operate them safely. Most of it is just common sense and thinking before your forge ahead.
First, choose a hand truck or dolly whose size and shape matches what you’re going to carry. When you load or unload a dolly or hand truck, be sure to use safe lifting techniques. When you operate a dolly or hand truck, you want to do it so that the truck and your legs do the work, not you and your back.
Whether you’re securing items to a hand truck, rigging up a hoist, or bundling for easier carrying, you’ll often use rope. Now, rope is about as low tech as you can get, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t things to know about it to make your job easier and safer.
One of the key things to remember is that not will all ropes are the same. They’re made of many different materials and not all of them are suite for all jobs.
One of the most important parts of rape safety is care and maintenance. A rope that’s just thrown in a corner will deteriorate and get weaker, though you won’t be able to see it. Inspect rope at least monthly. If it’s used to hole people on scaffolds, chick it before use. If it’s used around acids, inspect it daily because ropes deteriorate fast around acids.
When you inspect rope, look for broken fibers. Untwist it in a few places to make sure strands are clear and unspotted. Try to break a small piece; if you can it with your hands, throw the rope away. Clean rope before storing it. Just loop it over a bar, spray it with water, and shake it out when it’s dry.
For some uses, steel and plastic straps are even better than rope for bundling items. But the straps usually have pretty sharp edges, so you have to handle with care. Wear the right safety equipment, such as gloves, safety shoes, and safety glasses, and remove any dangling ends.
We are so accustomed to having hand trucks and dollies around our workplace that it’s east to forget they can be a safety hazard. They look like such simple tools. What could go wrong? Well, if you don’t select the right truck or dolly for the job and use it appropriately, you could get hurt. Believe me, you don’t need the pain of a back injury. Appropriate selection, loading and use of hand trucks and dollies go a long way toward ensuring you safety while working with them.