Workplace Safety And Risk Management
The value of casters in the workplace is often overlooked, those wheels on the bottom of a cart can do a lot more than just roll. The right caster wheels can have a tremendous impact on health and safety, not to mention employee productivity and performance. We have created innovative caster wheel products to help protect workers against some of the most common and costly threats, including:
Hearing Loss – Second most common illness in the workplace
Overexertion – Leading cause of workplace injuries
Accidents and Collision Injuries
Heavy Materials Movement
Noise and Hearing Loss
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Hearing loss is the second most common illness in the workplace. Unfortunately, unlike some other diseases, hearing loss is not reversible. There is no way to gain back what is lost.
In addition to risk of hearing loss, excessive noise has several other negative effects on employees. It makes communication difficult and greatly increases the risk for errors, creates agitation and reduces employee morale, and can increase stress and anxiety, to name a few. Not to mention the penalties that can be imposed by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA).
OSHA has strict guidelines about noise levels and length of exposure to noise at those levels (Occupational Health and Safety Act 1910.95), and just a 5 decibel increase can cut exposure time in half, meaning an 8 hour work day becomes a 4 hour work day. If the increase is 15 decibels, that work day is reduced to just 1 hour long! OSHA recommends “engineering controls” to reduce noise, such as CasterShoX® casters with the ShoX® absorption system integrated into the core to address the shock at the source.
Overexertion and Ergonomics
Overexertion involving an outside force is the leading cause of injury in the workplace and cost U.S businesses over $15 billion according to the 2016 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index.
In addition to monetary costs, overexertion injuries result in longer time off for recovery than the average of other injuries, it impacts morale and can reduce overall performance.
One common outside force that may lead to overexertion injuries are industrial carts. Industrial carts often move loads weighing thousands of pounds, requiring several pounds of force exerted to start, keep rolling and turn. Workers are often required to exert this force consistently throughout the work day, greatly increasing the risk of overexertion injuries. Ergonomic casters can reduce force exerted and the risk of injuries due to overexertion. Caster Concepts TWERGO® wheels can reduce initial and continuous push force by an average of 25%, with some users even reporting as much as a 50% reduction in push force.
Accidents and Collisions
Injuries due to being struck by an object or equipment is the fourth most common cause of injury in the workplace and costs US companies over $5 billion dollars, according to the 2016 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index. With industrial carts weighing thousands of pounds when loaded, they can create a very serious threat to operators and other workers as well.
Caster Concepts offers a complete line of options and accessories that can help reduce the risk of an accident. Accessories like Toe Guards to prevent a cart rolling over someone’s foot, or caster brakes to keep the cart from rolling away, especially while being loaded or unloaded. Swivel Locks allow for greater control by eliminating the swivel function in a caster and lock the wheels in a specified direction, making it easier to steer the cart.
Moving Extremely Heavy Loads
Some applications require moving loads that weigh tons, which can cause a ton of concerns! Extremely heavy loads usually put a strain on workers, requiring multiple operators. We can help alleviate those concerns and free up operators with the industry’s first motor powered caster, the Drive Caster®. This motor powered caster can move up to 6,000 lbs effortlessly, the only force exerted is that required to push a button. For heavier loads or to add steering, incorporate a second Drive Caster®.
Extremely heavy loads can also cause risk of failure to equipment, having the wrong caster can be catastrophic. If a wheel locks up it could cause the operator muscle strains, if the caster collapses under the load, materials can come tumbling down on the operator or other workers, as well as other damage and injuries. Rest assured, we are experts in designing and building Heavy Duty Casters to conquer just about any challenge. And if the right caster is not in our catalog, we will design a custom caster for your application, as we have done for thousands of customers including the largest manufacturers in the world. Our engineering team will work with you to design the exact caster for the application.
As you can see, those little wheels on the bottom of the cart play a big role in safety. Contact us today to learn more about our mission for 360 coverage of safety in the workplace.