From The Ergoweb® Learning Center

Maintenance and Distribution of Weight in Hand Trucks Used in Beverage Delivery


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

Task Prior to Abatement (Description)

Underinflated hand truck tires put unnecessary musculoskeletal stress on beverage delivery workers.

The cases of beverages were not distributed evenly among drivers and in proper location, so there was a high risk of back injury.

Task Prior to Abatement (Method Which Identified Hazard)

Medical records of increasing back injuries among delivery workers.

Ergonomic Risk Factor (Force)

Increased back compressive force for lifting because of inappropriate distribution of the weight of cases in shelves.

Ergonomic Risk Factor (Posture)

Unnecessary musculoskeletal stress on delivery workers was required to keep the hand trucks balanced.

Ergonomic Solution (Engineering Controls)

A compressor gauge and pump have moved from the maintenance garage to the hand truck storage area to increase the likelihood of drivers checking their hand truck tire pressure more regularly.

Heaviest cases have been distributed more evenly among drivers.

Changing the truck loading pattern by putting heavy cases on shelves between knee and shoulder height to ease lifting and reduce the back compressive force.

Ergonomic Solution (Benefits)

Reduce risk factor exposure.

Ergonomic Solution (Method Which Verified Effectiveness)

Decreasing the number of back injury cases by two-thirds in three years.