Ergonomic Guidelines - Using Four-Wheel Carts in Roofing, Part Two - January 2023

Mon, Jan 09, 2023 at 8:00AM

Dr. Ken-Yu and Dr. Zhenyu Zhang, SHARE Lab College of Built Environments, University of Washington

In last month’s issue, we discussed overexertion in cart operations, cart condition and maintenance and tire selection. In this article we’ll address workspace setup and site pre-task planning.

Workspace Setup – Space Constraints

Space constraints or tight spaces, are common on a commercial roofing site. They come from physical restrictions of the site or are a by-product of bad workspace setups. Be cautious when pulling a cart in tight spaces as they require a higher degree of cart control precision and will increase the risk of overexertion. Here are some examples of space constraints.

Example 1: Poor workspace setup – A temporary ramp is placed in front of a penetration, which creates a limited landing area for moving a cart onto the ramp. The landing is uneven and poorly set up. The worker has to overcome the uneven surface from the limited space and then pull along the ramp. This significantly increases the risk of overexertion.

Example 2: Narrow passage – Workers have to apply a greater force to position a cart into the narrow passage. The extra force could be adding 12 percent more pressure on the worker’s lower back and shoulder. Additionally, when moving a cart across the narrow passage, extra force is needed to minimize lane deviation.

Example 3: Bad housekeeping – Construction debris sits along the path, forcing workers to pull the cart through a tight space. Overcoming and pulling over an obstacle in an open area is relatively easy. Read more.


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