Top safety advice from storage trolleys suppliers

Storage trolleys are designed to make storing and moving items easier, especially since incorrect manual handling is a leading cause of injuries at work.

To move and store items safely is a joint responsibility of employers and the storage trolley supplier. An employer needs practices and training that prevent injury ,and the storage trolley manufacturer needs to design storage trolleys that minimise the risk of injury.

Large businesses like Amazon and Ocado are using robots and other automated systems to pick and move online orders and reduce manual handling. There have been advances in robot technology that mean they can replace workers’ manual handling duties, but robots are expensive and most small to medium businesses understandably rely on workers using storage trolleys.

Provided precautions are taken, storage trolleys are safe to use.

What are the risks associated with storage trolleys?

A heavily loaded storage trolley requires a lot of effort to start and stop. Obstacles can cause collisions. If placing items on trolleys involves twisting the body there is a risk of muscle strain.

Every time a heavy load is pushed or pulled, the worker needs to take a short break to recover. Plus, if trolley handles are not at the right height, this can cause unnecessary strain.

Also, remember that an un-braked storage trolley left on the ground that is not level could move and hit someone or something.

The storage trolley manufacturer’s responsibility

A storage trolley manufacturer needs to make sure that its trolleys are safe. Trolleys in busy workplaces are used a lot, so they need to be strong and durable. The best storage trolleys are made from tubular steel, which is both strong and lightweight. Skilled metalworkers are needed to weld the tubular steel length together so that they will not come apart during heavy use. Needless to say, it could be disastrous if a trolley collapsed when fully loaded.

Trolley handles are made for people of average height. If very tall or short workers are employed, businesses should consider asking the storage trolley manufacturer to make bespoke trolleys with high or low handles. A storage trolley supplier will usually make its own trolleys, and constructing one with different height handles should not cost much extra.

Wheels need to be strong swivel casters that can easily be moved and are easy to steer.

Manufacturers should also specify the maximum load for trolleys. The amount of force needed to move the load should be around 2% on a flat floor. This means, for example, for a 400kg load, a force of 8kg is required to move it. This is well within the safety guidelines for workers. However, this is dependent on the trolley being in good order. If the casters are worn, a greater force may be needed to turn them.

If a trolley needs to be moved up a slope, this could mean unacceptable force is required. Storage trolleys should ideally only be operated on flat ground.

The employee’s responsibility

Employees and employees both have a responsibility to safely use storage trolleys.

Employees should check storage trolleys each day to make sure that they have no defects. There should be a fault reporting system and regular maintenance. If the trolley has brakes, workers need to make sure that they are working correctly.

If an employee has been injured either at or away from work, and this injury could be made worse by lifting, pulling or pushing actions, they should report this to their employer who can reassign their work duties. Workers should not manually handle items if they are feeling ill.

Staff need to wear proper clothing with no loose garments and jewelry that could get caught in the trolley. If workers need to wear protective clothing or equipment, they should make sure that these items do not interfere with the safe handling of storage trolleys.

Wheel brakes should be on when the trolley is stationery, especially when a loaded trolley is left in a storage area. Workers should not move trolleys too fast and there should be no objects in the workplace that are a collision hazard. Items should always be lifted off and on trolleys slowly and carefully.

When storage trolleys are not being used, they should be stored in a clean dry and safe location. They should never block fire exists or be in the way of pedestrian walkways.

Lastly, all workers need to adopt the correct posture when pulling or pushing trolleys. This simple but important guidance is often overlooked when workers are rushing.

The employer’s responsibility

Employers, meanwhile, need to purchase top quality storage trolleys and replace them when they break. They are responsible for training employees in safe manual handling procedures.

Companies should make sure that children and bystanders are prevented from entering areas where storage trolleys are being moved.

For objects that weigh above 25kg, employers should provide lifting equipment or have more than one person lift the item. If possible, employers should separate mechanised vehicles from handpushed trolleys.

Workplace organisation

To facilitate all of this, warehouses need organising in such a way that they minimise the number and length of journeys storage trolleys need to make. Items that are in high demand can be stored in areas near packing stations so that they never have to be moved far. Make sure that all doorways and shelving aisles are wide enough to safely move storage trolleys through too.

Tired and stressed workers are more likely to be careless and this can lead to accidents. Avoid high workload demand and excessively tight deadlines, and make sure that workers have regular breaks.

Communication needs to be clear between managers and people operating storage trolleys, so that they know which items need to be loaded on storage trolleys and precisely where they should go.

Storage trolley suppliers carry British-made quality storage trolleys that are designed with safety in mind. With proper health and safety procedures and training, no worker needs to be injured by the proper use of storage trolleys. Manufacturers make safe, strong and efficient storage trolleys, and it is up to employers and employees to make sure that they are operated safely.

Posted by Derek
5th February 2019
Health & Safety

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