A little push to steer you in the right direction of avoiding back injuries.

Overexertion injuries are by far the most common claims when it comes to worker’s compensation, so finding ways to reduce these types of injuries (think pushing vs. pulling) can save employers time and money.

By reducing the number of workplace injuries, you can reduce the amount of workers’ compensation claims.  As well as save employees some pain and suffering. Here are some tips on the best way to move a wheeled cart to avoid workplace injuries, including an article from WebMD on how to push and pull safely.

Pushing vs. Pulling

Many employees can be tempted to pull a cart behind them rather than push it ahead of them. Unfortunately, this can cause significant injury.

When pulling a cart, you cannot see where you are going if you’re walking backward. And because of the cart’s weight, pulling it can put undue stress on the shoulders and back. What’s more, the cart can keep rolling after you have stopped, which can cause it to collide into you.

When you push a cart, not only will you be able to see where you are going, you’ll also put less pressure on your shoulders and back. The main reason to push rather than pull is you can apply more force; you are leaning your body into the cart and making the work easier by distributing more of the force of the weight.

Tips for Pushing a Wheel Cart Properly

  • Keep your hands at just above waist level. This helps to better balance the center of gravity and significantly reduces injury risks.
  • Always use both arms. Again, this helps to evenly distribute the amount of force needed to move the cart, which ultimately results in safer movement.
  • Keep your back straight. A bent back is dangerous because it can lead to strained muscles.
  • Contract your stomach muscles. This helps to strengthen and solidify your core as you push, which helps to prevent many common overexertion injuries.
  • Keep your body close to the wheelcart. The further away you are from the cart, the more force you will need to exert to move it. Staying close allows you to use your body weight to your advantage and apply extra force without overexerting yourself.
  • Move slowly. Heavy carts should be moved very slowly; the heavier the load, the longer it will take for it to stop when you are ready to stop.
  • Wear the right shoes. Anti-slip shoes are vital for moving heavy carts. If your feet slip out from under you, this can cause fall injuries.
  • Check for debris before moving and during motion. Clearing the area of debris before moving the cart can help keep the process safer, but it’s important to continue checking the area for new debris as you go.
  • Use high-quality casters and caster wheels that are appropriate for the load. Using the wrong casters can cause serious injury should the caster fail, and if the casters are not ergonomic, it increases the amount of force needed to push the load. This alone can increase overexertion injuries.

Following these tips helps reduce employee injury and associated costs.

These steps and tips are designed to ensure that you (or your employees) are moving loaded wheel carts appropriately to avoid injury. Knowing how to physically push the cart and ensuring that you have the right caster wheels for the job can save countless thousands of dollars, improve your production, and even improve employee morale. For more ergonomic tips and cost savings, call your Caster Concepts representative at 517.680.7950.