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The wheelbarrow has come a long way in construction work from the manually propelled wheelbarrow to the engine propelled wheelbarrow for moving material on the construction site. The proper use and maintenance of wheelbarrows can prevent many accidents.
1. Always place the load well forward, balanced and confined in size for safety. The load should clear safely through openings, aisles and roadways. The user should be able to see over and around the load to guide it safely. The load should be secured, or held steady, against shifting or falling.
2. When picking up a wheelbarrow, spare your back by giving your legs their fair share of the lifting. Bend the legs for lifting instead of bending the back. Spare your back and the wheelbarrow by never overloading.
3. Always push a loaded wheelbarrow forward. This is the way to avoid being run over. Warn others out of the way. A walking pace is safer than running.
4. Cross over obstacles at the right angle, especially over rails or planks which may divert the wheel causing the load to spill or fall.
5. Like all other construction tools and equipment, wheelbarrows should be stored so that they do not become obstacles and safety hazards for yourself or others.
6. If your wheelbarrow is powered by a gasoline engine, remember that gasoline is a fire and explosive hazard. Remember that gasoline engines produce carbon monoxide gas which can be fatal if the area in which you are working is not well ventilated. Remember, also, that you are dealing with an engine which has more power than you do.
7. The maintenance of a wheelbarrow engine is properly the work of an authorized and qualified mechanic.
8. The wheelbarrow wheel or wheels should be inspected and maintained regularly. Maintain proper lubrication according to directions. Inspect tires for damage. Keep tires inflated according to directions. Keep all bolts and fittings tight and secure.
9. Wheelbarrow handles are for your hands. Replace handles which are split or splintered. Use handle guards to protect your knuckles from scrapes, cuts and fractures.
10. Accessory wheelbarrow equipment, like lines, rails and racks for securing loads, should be maintained in top condition for safety.
11. A wheelbarrow by itself will not harm you or anyone else. You are responsible for how well a wheelbarrow is handled, operated, maintained and stored for safety.12. The precautions you use with wheelbarrows are generally the same as the precautions you use with hand trucks, dollies and other mobile equipment.
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