According to HSE guidance, manual handling covers a wide range of tasks from lifting to pushing, pulling, and carrying. Using a sack truck still counts as manual handling, but it’s a surefire way to make things safer.
Manual handling causes more than a third of all workplace injuries including sprains, strains, and other musculoskeletal problems. It can result in workers being off sick for lengthy periods of time and it can really hurt productivity and profit. That’s why it’s important that wherever possible, workers avoid having to lift a load. Luckily, a piece of equipment like a sack truck can take the stress and strain out of heavy lifting.
If you move large or heavy items around each day at work, it pays to invest in a sack truck. While a sack truck is far safer than bending or reaching to move a load, you still need to know how to use one safely. Here’s what you need to consider.
There are many different variations of sack trucks. Knowing the weight of the load you need to carry will help you choose the right one. For example, our aluminium sack truck has a maximum capacity of 120kg which is plenty. However, if you need to move really heavy loads, you’ll need a heavy-duty truck with a capacity of 300kg. Never overload your truck. If in doubt, split up the load if you can.
If a heavy load makes the sack truck hard to control, ask for help, or make a few trips to move the load. The last thing you want is a truck pulling away from you, which could result in injury and/or damage to stock.
Will there be stairs en-route? Make sure you use a stairclimber sack truck. Don’t try to drag a load up or down stairs on a truck that’s not designed for it.
So you’ve loaded your truck and you can handle it with no problems. It’s all good, right? Not quite. You need to make sure your route from A to B is free from obstacles or hazards like wet floors or trailing cables. Ask for help if you need it, this is not the time to struggle and put yourself in harm’s way. Enlist a willing helper to do things like open doors for you on the way if need be.
If you’re working in a warehouse, the chances are you’re already kitted out in safety gear. But it never hurts to have a reminder. Whenever you’re doing manual handling of any kind, you should be wearing safety boots and protective gloves. And yes, that includes when you’re using a sack truck!
For more interesting articles on manual handling and workplace safety, check out the rest of our blog.