From The Ergoweb® Learning Center

Ergonomics- Hand Truck Delivery

Task Prior to Abatement (Description) – Hand Truck Delivery

Food and tobacco materials have been moved using steel hand truck delivery which imposed unnecessary musculoskeletal stress on delivery workers.


Zak Figura, S., August 1996, Reducing the Risks of Material Handling, Occupational Hazards.

Task Prior to Abatement (Method Which Identified Hazard)

Medical records of back injury cases among delivery workers.

Ergonomic Risk Factor (Repetition)

18 stops a day with 10 to 12 ramp trips per stop, caused great fatigue injury in delivery workers and increased the back injury risk factor.

Ergonomic Solution (Engineering Controls)

Aluminum hand trucks were used instead of steel ones, reducing the total weight per hand truck trip by 7 or 8 pounds, which equates to reducing the weight by more than half a ton on each route.

Ergonomic Solution (Benefits)

Reduced risk factor exposure.

Improving delivery driver productivity and morale.

Ergonomic Solution (Method Which Verified Effectiveness)

Significant decrease in back injury cases among workers using the new aluminum hand trucks.


While the lighter weight can be beneficial, less weight generally introduces less stability which, in some cases, may cause more musculoskeletal strain as workers struggle to keep their loads steady.