The Wheelbarrow has come a long way from the manually propelled wheelbarrow
to the engine propelled wheelbarrow for moving material. The proper use and
maintenance of wheelbarrows can prevent many accidents.

Main Points

The following may help in preventing accidents:-

• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• Cross over obstacles at the right angle, especially over rails or planks which may divert
the wheel causing the load to spill or fall.
• Like all other tools and equipment, wheelbarrows should be stored so that they do not
become obstacles and safety hazards for yourself or others.
• If your wheelbarrow is powered by a petrol engine, remember that petrol is a fire and
explosive hazard. Remember that petrol engines produce carbon monoxide gas which
can be fatal if in the area in which you are working is not well ventilated. Remember,
that you are dealing with an engine which has more power than you do.
• The maintenance of a wheelbarrow engine is undertaken by an authorised and qualified
• The wheelbarrow wheel or wheels should be inspected and maintained regularly.
Maintain proper lubrication according to directions. Inspect tyres for damage. Keep
tyres inflated according to directions. Keep all bolts and fittings tight and secure.
• Wheelbarrow handles are for your hands. Replace handles which are split. Use handle
guards to protect your knuckles from scrapes, cuts and fractures.
• Accessory wheelbarrow equipment, like lines, rails and racks for securing loads, should
be maintained in top condition for safety
• 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
• The precautions you use with wheelbarrows are generally the same as the precautions
you use with other farming equipment.

Talk to Atlas about Safety Management for your business