Solution Summary: Carpet Dolly
A carpet dolly is an engineering control that may reduce injuries from lifting and transporting carpeting materials. It is designed to be loaded with rolled carpet. The carpet can be transported around the worksite and some models allow for easy loading and unloading.
There are two types of carpet dollies: unpowered and powered.
Unpowered carpet dollies consist of a platform that can hold a roll of carpet, and two wheels that allow for easy transport around the worksite. The Vestil Portable Carpet Dolly has a 500 lb carrying capacity and wheels with a 16-inch diameter and a 4-inch width (Figure 1). The platform is designed in a “V” shape so that, once the carpet is loaded, the worker simply needs to apply leverage to one end of the carpet roll and push the device forward (Figure 2).
Figure 1. Vestil Carpet Dolly
Figure 2. Vestil Carpet Dolly loaded with a carpet roll.
A powered carpet dolly is designed similarly, but has power features that load, unload and move the dolly and its contents (Figure 3). The CarpetCaddy has 1000lb loading and carrying capacity (Figure 4). The 12V batteries that power a CarpetCaddy can last an entire workday. Workers simply use controls to facilitate loading and unloading, and control transport with a handlebar twist grip.
Figure 3. Illustration of powered loading, unloading, and transport featured on CarpetCaddy.
Figure 4. CarpetCaddy loaded with a roll of carpet.
Heavy lifting and carrying can cause lower back disorders, such as muscle strain or a disc herniation (“slipped disc”), which is bulging of disc material possibly pressing on the spinal cord or nerves that go into the leg. The carpet dolly can help reduce heavy lifting and carrying by allowing for simplified loading, unloading, and transport of heavy rolls of carpet around the worksite.
How Risks are Reduced:
A carpet dolly reduces heavy lifting and carrying because workers can use battery power or a leverage system to move rolls of carpet around the workplace.
The manufacturer states that the CarpetCaddy “eliminat[es] a possible injury from over extending the installers body.”
Safety and health experts believe a carpet dolly will help reduce musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) caused by heavy lifting and carrying because they accept most, if not all, of the weight of a roll of carpet. With a carpet dolly, a worker only has to manage half of the weight of the full roll to apply leverage to one end of the load. Once the weight of the roll is balanced on the wheels of the dolly, the worker simply has to push the load to move it around the workplace rather than carrying the full weight of the carpet. With a powered carpet dolly, heavy lifting and carrying is even further reduced because the task is completed with power controls. By reducing the weight that workers have to manage to move carpet around the worksite, the risk of developing MSDs such as low back pain is reduced (Kuiper 1999; Marras 2000).
Effects on Productivity:
A carpet dolly may increase productivity by reducing worker fatigue, and decreasing the number of workers that are needed to load, unload, and transport carpet.
Caution is advised when using the Vestil carpet dolly since there are no stops on the legs. Stops would prevent the load from dropping towards the person moving the carpet.
Dan Anton, PT, PhD, ATC; Elizabeth Seidl, SPT; and Jesse Brouwer, SPT – Eastern Washington University
- Load, unload and distribute construction materials