In January 2017, Liberty Mutual published its Workplace Safety Index, which assessed the top 10 causes of the most debilitating workplace injuries in the US. The leading cause was “overexertion involving outside sources,” which included injuries involving pushing, pulling, lifting and holding objects. This accounted for 23% of workplace injuries and almost $14 billion in expenses.

Modern, ergonomically designed hand trucks and other material handling equipment can keep workers from getting hurt. Consequently, they can help companies save a considerable amount of money.

hand trucks
Ergonomics in the Material Handling Industry

Applied Ergonomics once published a study entitled “Usability of manual handling aid for transporting materials.” Although it came out quite a few years ago, the study touches on many of the needs and issues that workers face today regarding material-handling equipment.

The study draws upon the results of a survey given to 90 workers who used equipment like cylinder trolleys and two-wheeled hand trucks on a regular basis. It notes that while people at that time had recognized a need to reduce the risk of injury while operating trucks and trolleys, “very little attention seems to have been paid to ergonomic aspects of their design.” The study’s authors go on to warn of “a danger that an aid purchased without proper attention to ergonomic factors may cause more problems than it was intended to solve.”

Here are a couple of the problems that the surveyed workers reported:

Lifting Loads

A major problem for hand truck users involved the effort needed to lift loads. For one surveyed user, lifting heavy loads was often a two-person job: He would need someone else to lift the truck’s base while he pulled its handles back.

A motorized lift hand truck can make it easy for one person to lift heavier loads by themselves. Advanced devices can lift and transport hundreds of pounds for hours on end. Users simply need to slide the truck’s toe plate underneath a load and flick the up/down switch to raise or lower it.

Balance

People who used two-wheeled devices had trouble keeping their equipment and loads stable. “Users had difficulty in finding a comfortable point of balance after they had lifted the trolley off the ground,” the study says. It adds that many users had aching shoulders or backs due to this lack of balance.

High-quality hand trucks are lightweight but sturdy enough to support and stabilize heavy loads. They will have features like curved-back frames and ergonomic handles, which keep loads in place and help reduce awkward movements and muscle strain.

Magline has manufactured innovative, top-quality material-handling equipment for over 70 years. Workers rely on Magliner products to transport loads safely and quickly every day.

About Magline

Magline’s stair climbing dolly options and other material-handling equipment have helped people work safer and better since 1947. Its top-quality Magliner products are used all over the world.

For additional information, visit Magliner.com