Folding trolley

pexels cottonbro 4820678Choosing and using the right folding trolley

Trolleys come in a wide variety of styles, sizes, makes and models. Choosing the right trolley and using it safely is vital for occupational work health and safety. Making the right choice will help you eliminate or reduce risks to you and your team.

Learn more about the range of folding trolleys from Materials Handling today!

Understanding the law

The Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (OHS Act) and Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 (OHS Regulations) lay out the responsibilities of employers and employees to comply with all legal obligations to workplace safety.

Some of the minimum requirements for trolleys of all kinds to ensure safe use in the workspace, include:

  • Height adjustable spring or scissor base.
  • Projecting handles.
  • Clear height limit for loads and contents.
  • Visible labels regarding load ratings and maximum item numbers.
  • Working castors and wheels.
  • Low resistance bearings.

Additionally, trolleys–along with all equipment–should be subject to regular maintenance and inspection checks.

Damaged trolleys should always be replaced or repaired before being used. 

Choosing the right folding trolley

To ensure the health and safety of your workers, make sure you choose the right trolley based on the following factors:

  • The task at hand.
  • The materials or contents being transported.
  • The physical capability and characteristic of the user.
  • The layout of your work site, factory or warehouse. 
  • The distance that needs to be travelled.
  • Gradients (slopes) in the workplace. 
  • Floor surface types.
  • Presence of stairs and/or hallways and archways. 
  • Load characteristics of the trolley such as size, shape, weight and centre of gravity.
  • How much the trolley will be used.

Why is choosing the right trolley so important?

pexels cottonbro 4820681Using the wrong sort of trolley or using a folding trolley incorrectly can cause a wide variety of injuries, most commonly musculoskeletal disorders. Fingers, toes, arms, legs and bodies can also be hit, crushed or otherwise harmed if safe precautions and usage procedures are not followed. 

Risk assessments

Your occupational work and health safety officer should run a risk assessment before using any new piece of equipment. 

This assessment will include both an appraisal of the folding trolley or item in use and will include consultation with workers to ensure pre-existing physical and health conditions are known. Ongoing training in the use and servicing of trolleys and other machinery is very important for ensuring safety and minimising risks.

In the event that there is a workplace accident, having an emergency or medical protocol in addition to a first aid kit and first aid officer nearby, is not just an ethical obligation but a legal requirement. 

Understanding the characteristics of your load

An essential part of understanding how to use your chosen folding trolley is knowing what sort of materials and loads can be safely transported using the trolley. 

Hazardous substances – transporting or working with hazardous materials requires extra careful safety procedures.

Predictability – inanimate objects are less likely to be unpredictable compared to animals or people.

Fragility – how fragile is the load being carried and how can you minimise the risk of damage?

Weight – the weight, including weight distribution, will make a significant impact on how you use your trolley.

Temperature – is the load of an extreme temperature that could add risk to it being transported.

Hygiene – especially important for clinical or health settings.

Know your workers

Your team members will all have different characteristics. From height to vision, there’s a wide range of capabilities. For example, you might want to consider a trolley with vertical handles or you might need a trolley of a specific width and height to be safe to use for your employees. 

To prevent injury, employees should be trained in safely using the folding trolley and have a working understanding of the different types of physical force that operating the trolley will require. 

We are here to help you find the ideal and right folding trolleys for effortless movement around the workplace. Feel free to contact one of our consultants today to make the selection process easier for you. 

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