Safety Meeting Presentation

HAND TRUCK SAFETY

(Before starting your meeting, consider how your people are involved in routine materials handling and how they do it. You may wish to review your company's back injury records and discuss haw some injuries might have been prevented had the person used a hand truck rather than lifting manually)

Welcome to today's safety meeting. Our topic this time around is hand trucks. While this may sound like a minor issue, proper use of hand trucks can reduce one of the nations' leading workplace safety issues - back injuries.

When to Use Hand Trucks

Many back injuries are a result of lifting heavy or awkward loads. They can sometimes be prevented simply by using a hand truck. There's no hard and fast rule on when to use hand trucks, but common sense should tell you when a load is too heavy or cumbe rsome to lift manually.

Hand Truck Hazards

What takes a little more thought is choosing the right hand truck for the job. Make sure you choose one that is the right size and design to handle the load. Curved bed trucks, for example, are designed to handle drums.

With that in mind, think about loading and operating the hand truck safely.

Two-wheeled hand trucks look easy to handle, but it's just as easy to lose the load and injure yourself or a co-worker if you don't keep safety in mind. When loading any hand truck:

Follow proper lifting techniques to place the load on the hand truck. Use your legs, and keep your back straight.

Place the heaviest objects on the bottom

Position the load so it rests on the axles so the weight will be carried by the truck and not the handles

Make sure the load will not slip, shift or fall. This may require securing it to the truck.

Move forward - not backward- with a hand truck. If you're going down a slope, keep the load in front of you. If you're going up, keep it behind you .

Move slowly and cautiously

Make sure you can see over the load

Four-wheeled hand trucks are similar to the two-wheeled versions. However, pay extra attention to loading procedures. Four-wheeled trucks can be easily tipped, so make sure that your load is balanced and secure. They should generally be pushed i nstead of pulled, except for those trucks equipped with a fifth wheel and a pulling handle.

Also be sure that you can see over the load. If this is impossible and you can't reduce the size of the load, get someone to serve as a guide. Also take extra care to place your hands properly so they won't get squeezed or crushed by the load

Powered hand trucks are the most dangerous kind of hand truck. That's why operators must be trained to use them. Some things to keep in mind when using powered hand trucks include:

Never operate a powered truck with wet or greasy hands

Always keep a hand on the handle and face the direction of travel

Enter elevators by backing in

Stay alert for pedestrians and obstructions

Stop at intersections to avoid collisions

Never ride or permit others to ride on the truck

Move chemicals only if they are in approved containers

Conclusion

By keeping these simple tips in mind, we should be able to steer clear of any major hand truck incidents and injuries.


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