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When people work with mobile carts and platforms the resulting forces on the human body can cause stress and fatigue.

“The acceleration of an object is proportional to the force acting upon it and is directed in the direction of the force.” – Newton’s second law of motion

Proper workplace push/pull procedure involves human, application, and caster/wheel elements, working in unison to ensure safe and risk-free motion.

A risk checklist can help to determine and eliminate obvious areas of concern. Some human factors to review when looking at a push/pull operation include: body size, muscle force, foot position, traction, and body posture. These variables, along with observations regarding physical strain and work capacity, can provide a baseline for the design and capacity of the cart or platform.

Application variables to consider include: mass, angle of force, length of travel, duration, and repetition. When the cart or platform is fully loaded determine the amount of energy needed to start movement. Also review the grip height, is it adjustable for people of different heights?

While human and application specific needs are mostly given the one area that can provide less stress and fatigue are the casters and wheels of the cart or platform. Important caster and wheel elements for optimum push/pull ergonomics include: rolling resistance, turning resistance, wheel/bearing friction, caster height/diameter/offset.

Although casters have been manufactured for over 100 years their technology hasn’t stood still. Today’s casters and wheels have the benefit of scientifically optimized polyurethane treads and load specific analysis to provide the best ergonomic outcome for each push/pull situation.

A clear understanding of the push/pull application, the people involved in the process, and the physical environment will yield dividends in reduced downtime, improved caster ergonomics and increased ROI.

For further information and a custom ergonomic caster solution please call 517-629-8838 or email