An injury is never pleasant and never wanted. Who wants the pain, discomfort, cost and other issues that arise from injury? Work Place injuries can have a greater negative impact, on both the individual and the organization. The impact can even reach other employees by lowering morale and reducing productivity.
The number one cause of injury in the workplace is Overexertion due to an outside force. A common “outside force” in manufacturing facilities are carts and racks. These carts and racks are often pushed or pulled manually, requiring the operator to exert force continuously throughout the day, creating an increased risk of injury. Casters have a significant impact on the force exerted to push, pull or maneuver a cart.
There are several attributes that can increase the ergonomic benefits of the caster, and reduce the amount of force exerted to move and maneuver a cart.
Wheel Diameter – The larger the diameter of a wheel, the easier it is to push or pull. Of course a larger diameter increase the overall height of the cart as well.
Wheel Width – The greater the amount of wheel material in contact with the floor, the greater the amount of force required to start rolling. Also, when turning, greater surface contact creates more friction and scrubbing, resulting in greater force required to turn.
Tread Material – If the wheel on the caster has polyurethane tread material, the formulation could have a great impact on push/pull force. Polyurethane formulations can differ greatly, and have great impact on ergonomics.
Swivel Lead – The longer the swivel lead, the easier it is to start rolling when the swivel casters are not parallel with the rigid casters. A longer swivel lead also makes it easier to turn.
Bearings – A caster usually has two sets of bearings, one set is in the swivel section, the other is in the core of the wheel. Both sets of bearings have an impact on ergonomics. The bearings in the swivel section impact push force when turning or maneuvering. The bearings in the wheel make it easier to roll, generally sealed ball bearings require the least amount energy exerted to start and keep rolling.
Kingpinless Rig – A kingpinless caster swivels easier then a caster with a kingpin. In addition, a rig with a kinpin requires occasionally maintenance and adjustment, if over tightened the caster will be harder to swivel.
We have determined another factor in wheels that can greatly impact initial push force, the face design of the wheel. Our engineering team discovered that a parabolic face design significantly reduces initial push force, especially with certain tread material formulations. Our discovery was so significant that we patented it, and incorporate it into ourTWERGO® line of ergonomic wheels. Both the TWERGO® and TWERGO® Lite series of products have this parabolic face design and have been proven to reduce initial push force when compared to traditional casters.
Our ERGOXCEL™ series of Rigs will also help significantly reduce energy exerted when turning or when starting movement and the wheels are not parallel. ERGOXCEL™ Rigs are kinpingless and Maintenance Free, ensuring consistent performance. The swivel sections house precision sealed ball bearings which achieve optimal ease of movement.