Trucks and trolleys are excellent additions to many industrial, engineering, warehouse and distribution operations. The key benefits are reducing the likelihood of manual handling injuries and increasing the speed at which heavy or mis-shapen items can be moved around your site – but they can cause health and safety issues themselves. Here is our guide to using these trucks and trolleys safely.
Whatever the type of trolley, transportation dolly or truck that you are using, the first step should always be to make sure that it is in good operating condition. Any brakes should be tested, the platforms should be checked for integrity, bolts and joints should be checked to make sure that they are intact, and wheels should be looked over to ensure that they can turn freely and are not damaged in any way.
Before you start to load your truck or trolley, make sure you know the weight limit and that you are not going to exceed it. Next – be sure to load up carefully and with a focus on avoiding strain or stretch injuries. If an item is too heavy to safely load on the truck or trolley by yourself, then get assistance.
When you are loading, it is important to make sure that the load is safe. Bear in mind that you are not loading a static shelf or platform – this load will be in motion. You need to make sure that you are not loading goods onto your trolley or sack-truck in such a way that they are likely to topple over when they move, and remember that you will also probably have to negotiate corners and bumps/uneven flooring – so load with these risks in mind.
When you begin to move your loaded truck or trolley, ensure that you have a clear view of the path you will be taking. You need to be able to see the floor in relatively clear detail, as any bumps or uneven parts of the ground will affect your trolley/truck and could either cause you to lose control temporarily or cause the load to overbalance or fall. Be sure not to try to move too quickly either, as stopping abruptly might make the load shift. Lastly, if you are moving around corners or racking stacks and cannot see what might be coming from the other direction, then make use of audible signals (call out) and convex mirrors where possible.
When you come to a stop at your required position, make sure that you use any braking features available to you. If you are using a sack truck or balance truck that does not have any brakes fitted, ensure that the platform is flat to the floor or the load is balanced, respectively. Don’t park your trolley or truck at a blind corner where one of your colleagues might crash into you with the next load, and try to leave enough clearance for people to move around the truck/trolley while you unload it.