5. Use safer techniques
Guidelines for Equipment Use
- Know your load and buy equipment of appropriate capacity. Remember, lighter-weight equipment is easier to move.
- Choose equipment appropriate for the material(s) being handled, the layout and design of your workplace, and the work tasks being performed.
- Consider using powered equipment -rather than non-powered- when pushing and pulling forces are excessive.
- If available, select equipment with vertical handles so workers' hands can be in their power zone.
- Choose wheeled equipment which minimizes start forces (inertia) and reduces rolling resistance. The amount of force required to move loads with wheeled equipment depends on a number of factors including the:
- Weight and shape of the load
- Type and condition of the fl oor surface (e.g., smoothness, density, and other factors)
- Route taken (e.g., slopes, obstacles, and other factors)
- Type of wheels (i.e., the materials they are made of)
- Size of wheels (larger wheels a minimum of 6 inches in diameter move more easily over holes, bumps, and fl oor irregularities)
- Maintenance of wheels; it is important to clean, lubricate, and/or replace wheels on a regular basis.
- Ground all electrically operated equipment
- Make sure equipment alarms and warning devices are audible and working properly.
- Inspect and maintain equipment according to manufacturers' recommendations.
- Follow all manufacturers' recommendations for proper equipment use.
- Clear the aisles and doorways for safe passage and maneuvering of equipment.
- Set barriers that prevent employees from coming close to or beneath supported or moving loads.
- In tight spaces, use equipment with four swivel casters or wheels. Loads are easier to turn and control.
- Train employees on proper equipment use and appropriate work practices.
- Push and pull equipment with the entire body instead of with just the arms and shoulders.
- When pushing or pulling use both hands when feasible.
- To move heavy loads over long distances, either reduce the load or use powered equipment.
- Inspect pallets before loading or moving them.