Manually moving loads on even a flat surface can be an arduous task at the best of times, but factor in the additional effort to complete this task up or down a flight of stairs and the task can become extremely physical not to mention having a far greater risk of injury. Narrow stairways, twisting stairs and small landings can all present dangers. The risk extends from the individual carrying out the task itself, through to injury of dropping goods on people using the stairs below and of course to the accidental damage to the goods in question. It is a frequent problem that can easily be solved. You need to move goods or equipment from one building level to another and there is not a goods lift available to use! That means taking the stairs and as we all know, that can be dangerous if you are carrying or moving a heavy load. However, there is help at hand and unsurprisingly they are called stair climbers.
In particular, back injuries are a serious risk and a full safety assessment should consider that this type of injury is actually a major cause of sick days taken off in the UK. The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has a section on their website that helps employers deal with specific injury to employees working on stairs and this is a good reference point in starting to evaluate how you can improve working processes and conditions within your company.
The basic level of help for situations where light loads are being lifted up or down a short run of stairs is a sack truck fitted with skids that will aid the sliding of the truck with a load over the stairs. Moving on from this there are a number of sack trucks that are fitted with three wheels mounted on a triangular plate that are positioned on either side of the truck. These three wheels rotate around an axle to help move the truck over the edge of each stair tread that the truck comes into contact with. They are commonly known as stair climbers, stair climber trolleys or stair climbing sack trucks and they are all extremely effective at moving loads over stairs with a capacity of around 100 - 150kg on an infrequent basis. For higher capacity loads or for help with more frequent usage then we would recommend the use of an electric stair climber truck. These machines are light and easy to use, and they can be fitted with several personalised handle configurations to suit the situation in hand and the type of loads to be moved. They are particularly effective with large awkward shaped loads like white goods, vending machines, office machines and bulky boxes and crates up to a weight of 310kg.
For regular Action Handling updates, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, Sign up to our monthly newsletter for company news and information.