Question: Our facility moves materials on carts, and I heard that the cart’s casters can affect how easy the carts are to move. Is that true?
Answer: Yes! The wrong type of casters on a cart will make it more difficult to move. If you have carts that are difficult to move or are purchasing new carts, work with a knowledgeable vendor to assist you with selecting the correct caster and wheel combination for your specific cart, task and workplace conditions. The following are some key points that you should be providing to your vendor:
- The weight of the cart, load weight, and load type to determine number of casters required and wheel options.
- The types of surfaces the cart will traverse to optimize the wheel’s rollability and reliability. Include concerns with potential noise (i.e. hospital) or floor debris when selecting the wheel type for your floor surfaces.
- The purpose of the cart, cart type, and height restrictions will need to be factored in when determining the cart’s wheel size. The size of wheel is a major factor in rollability of a cart. Typically, a larger wheel will reduce the forces to move a cart.
- Review the path of travel, capacity, and space constraints to determine the requirement and location of swivel casters.
- Provide information for any environmental elements, such as extreme heat or wet environments, to ensure compatibility with the caster and wheel materials and bearings.
Don’t forget about preventative maintenance! Implement a preventative maintenance schedule per the manufacture’s specifications to keep those push/pull forces from increasing.
If you are concerned with the forces required to move your carts or you aren’t for sure if it is an injury risk, please contact your local BWC Ergonomist or request their service on-line at Ohio BWC – Request consulting services. Ergonomist can determine if the push/pull forces pose a risk of a workplace injury and provide solutions to lower the risk. Please remember that BWC’s safety consultation services are included in your BWC premiums.
*Provided by the Ohio BWC safety consultants.