How castor wheels can prevent injury in dangerous working environments

Posted: 27th November 2015 09:10

Health and safety protects employees and in order to ensure that everyone is always working in a safe environment, manufacturers also play their part. Most industrial companies and warehouse facilities will, at some time, need to use castor wheels, and the role of the castor manufacturer is key to ensuring everyone’s safety.

Custom built wheels

One size doesn’t fit all and castor wheels are no exception. In order to make sure that a piece of equipment as essential as a fall arrest system is safe the castor wheels that are fixed to the base of these systems have to be fit for purpose. If they’re too small for the equipment to which they’re attached they won’t be adequate and they won’t be able to cushion a falling worker. Fall arrest systems are used by anyone working in the construction, cleaning, and other industries that demand work on high buildings.
In order to advise manufacturers and industry the government has issued some helpful guidelines. The wheels at the base of the fall arrest system must be wide enough to protect the worker and must have a sturdy locking system in place. Discussion between contractors and castor wheel manufacturers has revealed that a larger size wheel constructed fixed to a large fall arrest system and constructed from solid rubber can save lives. As so many fall arrest systems differ in size having the right size castor wheels is imperative.

Safety and castor wheels

It’s not just in manufacturing where castor wheels are invaluable. The current HSE guidance on the use of castor wheels in the workplace highlights the need for using the right type of wheels to cope with different floor surfaces. Warehouses that use roll containers for the transportation of goods rely on castor wheels for movement between warehouse their final destination and in the warehouse itself. The wheels have to be the right diameter; they also have to be the right type of wheel in order to prevent accidents. A combination of fixed or swivel wheels can provide ‘stability and manoeuvrability and accurate steering.’

Human error and health and safety

A lot of health and safety regulation is based upon common sense. New developments in technology mean that machinery is far safer today than it was several decades ago. However, many accidents that occur in the workplace are as a result of human error. In the manufacturing sector, in the period between 2013/14, three people died as a result of a falling object.
Sometimes it’s the simplest of precautions that can save lives. Safety rails on oilrigs, wearing goggles when welding or even something as straightforward as wearing the right material gloves when handling toxic substances, all play their part in protecting employees.
Most importantly of all, health and safety at work starts with training. Employees should always be aware of potential dangers and learn how to operate all pieces of machinery that are used in their work.