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Wheelbarrow . . . safety?

When people think of construction equipment a wheelbarrow is likely at the end of the list. After heavy machinery like bulldozers, dump trucks, front-loaders, cranes and steam-rollers a wheelbarrow might not seem like such a dangerous machine. However, not using the proper safety techniques can result in serious - or even catastrophic - injuries.

Construction workers must endure a dangerous environment every day they are on the job. From falls to trips to inhaling toxic materials, every corner of a construction site can lead to injuries. The potential for injury can increase, however, if your co-workers are not following established safety standards and not making sound decisions.

Yes. Wheelbarrows can cause significant injuries.

For such a simple machine - one wheel, two handles and a pan to carry materials - a wheelbarrow can be the center of numerous dangerous situations. Consider the following:

  • A poorly balanced wheelbarrow might tip over and spill material against another worker's feet and legs.
  • In addition, the material might spill onto workers a floor or more beneath the tipped-over wheelbarrow.
  • An overloaded wheelbarrow might be hard to control while navigating it on inclines and declines.
  • A worker going around a blind corner might strike an unseen person.

Due to the low center of gravity, when a wheelbarrow strikes another worker, he or she might suffer severe damage to the legs, including broken bones, damaged cartilage, torn ligaments and strained tendons.

Workers who are cautious and aware of their surroundings can prevent these serious injuries.

  • Never overload a wheelbarrow
  • Never attempt to lift more than is necessary
  • Balance the load over the wheel
  • When going through doorways, pay attention to where you place your hands
  • Watch for holes in the floor

Through proper maintenance and careful attention to your surroundings, workers can prevent catastrophic or even fatal accidents. Conversely, if you or a loved one was injured in a construction accident do not hesitate to contact a personal injury attorney.

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