Material Handling Best Practices for the Manufacturing Industry

Manufacturing jobs come with their own unique hazards. This can include vehicle risks, the chance of electrical shock, the same slip and fall threats that accompany virtually any other occupation (particularly labor-based ones), and then the myriad ways in which the machinery and equipment used in manufacturing represents a potential threat.

lift hand truck 3Despite the fact that those more “exotic” threats are present, the most common injuries across almost every occupation, including manufacturing, result from more mundane factors. These include the earlier-mentioned slips and falls, heavy-lifting injuries, and those resulting from distracted work, particularly when dealing with material handling. In addition to proper training, a great deal of these risks can be greatly lessened or eliminated by having access to (and utilizing) the proper equipment. Sometimes the best way to keep yourself safe and uninjured can be as simple as using hand trucks (or selecting the right kind of hand trucks to use) rather than trying to carry something solo and unassisted.

Know Your Limits

As mentioned, simply knowing your limits is a great way to avoid any number of injuries. Manufacturing work often requires the moving of stock, heavy machinery, empty pallets, etc. Particularly when tools like hand trucks or pallet jacks aren’t around, it can be tempting to just muscle something from one place to another yourself. That’s a recipe for back injuries and a number of other very unpleasant repercussions. In cases like these it’s worth finding a hand truck or, if the load to be moved seems too ambitious for a traditional hand truck, employing a powered hand truck and perhaps a teammate to lend that additional bit of help.

Appropriate Storage

It’s not just the moving of heavy loads that can present a risk, storage of inventory can as well. That’s particularly true when the stock is being stored high off the ground. Beyond the risk of falls from attempting to move stock off the ground, it also creates the threat of that stock falling on those beneath it. Fortunately, one can use pallet dollies to move materials that are stored on wooden pallets. This eliminates the need for forktrucks, as in most cases, the loads can easily be pushed by hand or moved using a tugger.

Slips and Falls

Slip and fall injuries are far and away among the most common form of workplace accident. The risk of these sorts of accidents can be significantly increased due to unsafe material handling practices. Moving something, whether it’s being carried or transported via hand truck or other material handling equipment, occupies the hands and often the focus. Even when the person moving the stock is being safe, that split focus can result in slipping on sawdust or spilled fluid, tripping over cords, etc. That risk is obviously increased if the mover of the stock is not being safe and the rest of the team isn’t being mindful of their actions or the workspace isn’t being properly cleaned up. To avoid slip and fall injuries, or at least decrease their likelihood, minimize unnecessary distractions across the team and familiarize yourself with the route beforehand. Note any particular obstacles, wires or cables across the floor, slipping hazards, etc. and ensure any excessive or unwarranted obstacles or messes are tended to.

About Magline

Magliner products are so trusted and valued in the material handling industry that many of those working in the business refer to all hand trucks as “Magliners.” As indicative of Magliners’ quality as that may be, the fact is: There’s only one Magline. And for over 70 years, Magline has been designing and manufacturing the most reliable, sturdiest, and most trustworthy material handling equipment available. Their lifting and transportation tools and solutions also include more specialized equipment, like stair climbing carts, appliance hand trucks, and their always-dependable hand cart line. If you consider efficiency, growth, and success as priorities for your business, choose Magliners.

To learn more about Magliner hand trucks and other material handling products, visit

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