What are Some Hand Truck Safety Tips?
Using a hand truck is one of the best ways to transport heavy and bulky items from one place to another. It can help you avoid the risk of getting hurt, such as suffering a sprain or muscle strain, and can increase your productivity. Hand truck safety, however, is paramount if you wish to be as effective as possible.
People who use hand trucks should be aware of the types of jobs these tools can handle. This is essential for safe usage. Two common types of injuries often associated with hand truck use are injured hands and feet. That’s why wearing gloves is a necessity even when you’re using a hand truck to transport your load. Most well-equipped hand trucks also possess knuckle guards and hand brakes to add to the safety.
As an owner, you should make sure that you inspect your hand trucks daily before using them. It’s also a good idea to keep them in good shape and conduct regular maintenance.
General Hand Truck Safety Tips
When operating two-wheeled hand trucks, these are the general procedures you should follow to be as safe as possible:
- ● Make sure that the center of gravity for the load is as low as possible. Place heavy objects at the bottom and lighter ones on top. As you load, keep your feet clear of the wheels to avoid injury.
- ● Place the load towards the front of the hand truck so that the weight is carried by the axle and not the handles.
- ● Make sure that the load is placed in a manner that won’t cause it to topple or shift. You should also have a clear view ahead when transporting.
- ● In the case that a two-wheeled hand truck is loaded horizontally, you should raise it using your leg muscles and keep the back straight. Follow this same approach when you set the load down.
- ● The hand truck should carry the whole load while the operator simply balances and pushes. Avoid walking backward when using a hand truck even on level surfaces. If going down an incline, keep the truck ahead of you. Pull it behind you when going up.
- ● Avoid using a hand truck when the incline is greater than 5 degrees.
- ● Ensure that you move only at safe speeds and keep the truck in control at all times.
Similar operating procedures can be applied to four-wheeled hand trucks. However, additional care needs to be taken when loading four-wheeled trucks to prevent tipping. Most four-wheeled trucks need to be pushed instead of pulled. The only exception is when a truck has a fifth wheel and possesses a handle for pulling.
Additional Hand Truck Safety Tips
Extra care should be taken when going through blind corners and doorways. When you aren’t using the hand truck, make sure that you store it in designated places properly.
Two-wheeled hand trucks need to be stored on the chisel with their handles leaning against the wall or the truck next to it. Truck wheels that are not in use should be locked.
A hand truck makes it easier to transport different types of objects and due to this, we often take them for granted. That’s why it’s best to follow the hand truck safety tips provided to stay alert and avoid injuries when transporting with these tools.