The Basics to Proper Wheelbarrow Safety at Home
Proper safety techniques and habits are incredibly important if you want to avoid any possible injuries or accidents when working with a wheelbarrow in your yard or garden. Though they might seem like pretty straightforward and uncomplicated tools, there are some very important aspects you need to keep in mind to maintain the highest level of safety. Read on to learn about four incredibly simple tips to help you stay safe while using a wheelbarrow around the home.
Never Go Over Weight Limits
Every wheelbarrow comes with a load capacity rating that communicates the maximum amount of weight it can carry safely, usually anywhere from 100 to 500 pounds on average. It is incredibly important that you learn the load capacity of your wheelbarrow and that you never go over it, no matter what.
Filling it up above that weight limit can put you at risk of damaging the wheelbarrow, which in turn could lead to many unforeseen accidents. It could be anything from the wheels buckling and the cart tipping over on you or someone nearby, to the handles’ breaking in your hands and causing cuts and bruises. As such, always stay well under the weight limit whenever you fill up your wheelbarrow.
Avoid Models with Plastic Axles
Structural integrity is important when it comes to ensuring the highest level of safety in a wheelbarrow, and one of the best ways to ensure that is by choosing a model with metal axles instead of plastic axles. The metal will hold the wheels together and stay straight when there is more weight put on it, whereas plastic axles will bend and buckle and could lead to unexpected breaks that would cause the wheelbarrow to fall apart and potentially hurt you.
Always Check for Metal Bracing
Just like with the metal axles, it’s incredibly important to have metal bracing for the legs of the cart to avoid bowing and breaks. Most wheelbarrows will have two legs in the back that allow you to rest the cart in a standing position while loading and unloading the contents. Metal bracing ensures that the legs stay together and don’t simply bend inward or outward from the weight.
Similarly, it keeps them from coming loose when you lower the wheelbarrow, as the force of a heavy load can put considerable amount of strain on the legs. If the legs come loose that could not only cause you to lose control of the entire wheelbarrow but the legs could actually stick out and harm you or someone nearby.
Check the Rim of the Bed for Jagged Edges
A jagged or rough bed rim can be a serious safety hazard, mostly because you could cut yourself when you are loading or unloading the contents. Often you will need to lean into the bed or rest your hands on the rim, and any sharp edges could do some real damage. Rounded edges are ideal because they are less likely to rust and break with repeated use, which is a common cause for rough edges.
Any points that stick out from the edge of the bed can also catch the contents you put into it, which can definitely lead to some safety issues. Imagine if you were loading bags of cement into the cart and you hit a snag as you load it into the bed, causing the bag to catch and the contents to spill out. This could lead you to knock the cart over, drop the bag on your feet, or encounter any of several other issues.
Bonus Tip: Don’t Allow Children to Use It Unsupervised
If you have any children around you while you’re working in your yard, you need to make sure that they don’t use the wheelbarrow without any direct adult supervision and clear instructions. Also, some children will simply be too young to operate a wheelbarrow correctly; they may not be tall enough or strong enough to lift the handles, which could cause them to drop it or knock it over.