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Hand tool safety: Use these tips to ensure your workers don't neglect safety on wheelbarrows!

by , 24 October 2013
Wheelbarrows are classified as hand tools. So if your employees work with them, make sure they adhere to safety rules. Use these tips to ensure your workers handle wheelbarrows safely.

'Wheelbarrows seem harmless, but they may be dangerous and often they're awkward to handle,' says the Health& Safety Advisor.

Here are some suggestions for safe handling:

Nine tips to handle wheelbarrows safely

The Advisor recommends you tell your employees to adhere to the following rules when working with wheelbarrows:

  1. Avoid using a wheelbarrow with cracked or broken handles, damaged or wobbly wheels, loose legs or ragged edges.
  2. Keep the wheel axle bearings well oiled.
  3. Balance the loads carefully by placing the centre of the weight well forward to save lifting strain.
  4. Lift chiefly with the leg muscles, keeping the back nearly upright.
  5. When wheeling a heavy load, take special care not to be caught by the handles if the load should tip over.
  6. Keep plank runways well supported and not apt to shift or tip. If wheeling loads across portable aprons bridging any open space, make sure each time that the bridge is securely in place.
  7. Watch for insufficient clearances. Wear gloves if necessary to protect your hands.
  8. Never run with a wheelbarrow – this leads to serious stumbling and falling injuries.
  9. Don't leave a wheelbarrow in a position where it may tip over, or where persons or traffic may run into it.

Make sure your workers apply these tips when working with wheelbarrows. This way, they'll avoid injuries and your company will be in line with the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

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