Designing Manual Carts: Selecting Casters, Reducing Workplace Injuries, and Improving Productivity

Presenter: Tom Albin, principal, High Plains Ergonomics Service

The focus of manual material handling risk analyses has expanded to include manual cart handling: pushing, pulling, turning and braking carts. In this presentation, we will cover some basic design principles that accommodate a wide range of users, discuss acceptable force levels employed while manually handling carts, and how those forces may interact to lower safe operating force levels beyond the limit for any one force in isolation.

As casters are a prime design feature with regard to cart operating forces, we will also cover caster features. Finally, we will briefly describe a case study highlighting the reduced operating forces that result from matching the caster to the task at hand.

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