Wheelbarrows, hand trucks, and four-wheel dollies are used on construction sites and for other jobs.
- A wheelbarrow is a small cart with two supporting legs, two handles at the rear, and a single wheel at the front. It is used for carrying loads in construction and other industries.
- A hand truck is a two-wheeled cart with long handles, used for moving heavy objects by hand. It consists of a vertical framework with a metal blade at the bottom and handles at the top.
- A four-wheel dolly is a platform with two axles and four wheels. It is used to transport heavy items from one location to another. Dollies are available in varied sizes and designs.
How Do You Use a Wheelbarrow Safely?
It is possible to injure yourself using a wheelbarrow. Keep the following wheelbarrow safety tips in mind:
- Maintain the wheelbarrow to help prevent accidents. Replace handles that are split or splintered, inflate tires properly, and use lubrication as needed. Check and tighten nuts and bolts.
- Make more than one trip with a large load or heavy material to avoid injuring yourself.
- Load the wheelbarrow properly, with the load balanced and to the front. Secure larger loads, and make sure you can see over the load when pushing the wheelbarrow.
- Make sure your posture is correct when you are using a wheelbarrow. Your shoulders should be stacked above your hips and your hips should be stacked above your knees. Do not lean forward or hunch over – it can increase the strain on your back.
- Check to ensure your path is free of obstacles before you start out. Move any roadblocks out of the way.
- Stick to walking speed. A steady pace at a slower speed can help you maintain control.
What Are Some Common Wheelbarrow Accidents?
Improper use of a wheelbarrow can lead to serious accidents. For example:
- A worker could lose control of an overloaded wheelbarrow and slam into other people or objects.
- A poorly maintained or poorly balanced wheelbarrow could tip over, spilling the load on workers.
- A wheelbarrow used at an elevation that is not properly secured could fall and injure another worker on a lower level.
How Do You Use a Hand Truck Safely?
Basic safety procedures for using a hand truck include the following:
- Use the right hand truck for the job and load. Do not exceed the hand truck’s load capacity.
- Use proper lifting techniques for placing loads on hand trucks and keep your feet clear of the wheels.
- Keep the center of gravity of the load on the cart as low as possible by placing heavier objects on the bottom.
- Push the load forward onto the axel by adjusting the tilt angle to reach a balance point.
- Make sure the load height will allow for a clear view ahead.
- Avoid walking backwards, maintain a safe speed, and take care to keep hands and fingers from being pinched between the handles and stationary objects.
- Always keep the hand truck downhill from the operator when negotiating inclines or stairs.
What Types of Injuries Can Be Caused By Misusing a Hand Truck?
Improper use of a hand truck can cause back and other musculoskeletal stress injuries. Common hand truck injuries include:
- Strains in the shoulders, arms, and joints
- Getting hands or fingers caught in the hand truck or between the hand truck and other objects
- Feet, toes, or lower legs being bruised or crushed by a hand truck
- Slip or trip and fall accidents
What Are Some Safety Tips for Using Four-Wheel Dollies?
Similar safety tips apply when using four-wheel dollies. Check the condition of your equipment, load materials carefully, and use proper lifting techniques. Personal protective equipment is also important. Use leather gloves, protective footwear, and non-slip footwear.
Why Is It Important to Speak With an Attorney if You Have Been Injured Using a Wheelbarrow, Hand Truck, or Four-Wheel Dolly?
If you have been injured on the job using a wheelbarrow, hand truck, or dolly, you will need compensation to cover your medical expenses, lost earnings, and other losses. Our New York workers’ comp attorneys at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP have the knowledge, skills, and resources to effectively pursue the compensation you deserve. Contact us at (212) 986-7353 to schedule a free consultation.