Practical Wheelbarrow Safety Tips

George Davis

How to Use a Wheelbarrow

Whether it is hauling bricks, sand, gravel, tiles or concrete, wheelbarrows are very helpful in carrying a small amount of heavy objects and materials and moving them from one place to another. Workers must be trained not only in the proper way to use wheelbarrows, but also in wearing the right kind of personal protective equipment (PPE) while using this indispensable tool. Below, we’ll discuss how to use a wheelbarrow safely.

Wheelbarrow Inspections

Safety in the use of wheelbarrows starts with conducting proper inspection before using them. Workers must take their time to examine every part of the wheelbarrow to make sure that it is in perfect condition. 

1. Handles/Grips

  • Do the handles have cracks?
  • Are the grips in good condition?

2. Nuts, Washers, and Bolts

  • Are all the nuts, washers, and bolts in place and tightened?

3. Frames

  • Are the frames cracked or bent?

4. Bracing

  • Is the bracing in place and in good condition?

5. Bucket/Tipping

  • Do the buckets or tipping bodies have holes, cracks or bends in them?
  • Do they have dried concrete or debris left in them?

6. Stands/Legs

  • Are any of the stands or legs missing?
  • Are the stands and legs cracked, broken or bent?

7. Wheels

  • Are all the wheels clean and straight?

8. Axle Shafts

  • Are all the axle shafts straight and tight?

9. Wheel Bearings

  • Are the wheel bearings tight, clean and lubricated?

10. Tires/tubes

Are the tires low on air?

Are they worn out or weather-cracked?

11. Valve Stems

  • Do the valve stems have a cap in place?
  • Are they weather-cracked?

12. Paint/Coating

  • Are the paint and other coatings chipping?
  • Do they have rust?

General Wheelbarrow Safety Guidelines

  • Take out a defected wheelbarrow from service to have it repaired or replaced.
  • Never overload your wheelbarrow.
  • Inspect the pathways to ensure they’re free of unnecessary equipment, objects, materials and employees.
  • Check the path where you will move the wheelbarrow to ensure that the surface is free of obstructions, pot-holes and grading problems.
  • Employees must wear proper and complete PPE when hauling loads with a wheelbarrow. The proper PPE usually includes a hard hat, cover-all clothing, heavy-duty gloves, safety goggles/safety glasses, and safety boots or shoes.
  • All ramps must be wide enough that employees will have sure footing while hauling loads with wheelbarrows over them.
  • All doorways must be wide enough that employees have free movement through them while handling a loaded wheelbarrow.
  • Remember that safe usage of the wheelbarrow starts with conducting proper inspection of each part of this tool. But it’s never complete without proper training in handling it and without donning complete PPE while hauling loads with it.

We have complete OSHA compliant safety solutions for all your needs. Call (877) 476-8979 today to speak with one of our highly skilled safety experts about how to use a wheelbarrow more safely.

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