Solution Summary: Ladder Transport Cart
A ladder transport cart, such as the U-TECK Rung Runner™ is an engineering control that may help reduce lifting & carrying. The Rung Runner™ is a two-wheeled dolly made specifically for transporting ladders of all sizes.
The U-TECK Rung Runner™ is a two-wheeled dolly made specifically for transporting ladders of all sizes including large extension ladders with solid rails (figure 1). The ladder is held in the middle by a strap with a quick release buckle. Since it is cradled in the middle, the weight of the ladder is reduced up to 90%. The framework of the Rung Runner™ is made of polymer and stainless steel for strength and durability. Additionally, a step ladder dolly is also available (figure 2).
Figure 1. U-TECK Rung Runner™ (Photo courtesy of U-TECK)
Figure 2. U-TECK Step Runner™ (Photo courtesy of U-TECK)
Heavy lifting and carrying can cause low 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 ladder transport cart can help reduce heavy lifting and carrying by reducing the carrying weight of the ladder by up to 90%. Using a ladder transport cart will place less strain on your back than carrying ladders by hand.
How Risks are Reduced:
A ladder transport cart minimizes heavy lifting and carrying because it reduces the carrying weight of the ladder placing less strain on your back than carrying ladders by hand.
The manufacturer states that the Rung Runner™ “helps prevent back strains and injury” and “off-sets ladder weight for safer single-worker use." The manufacturer claims it is successful in "reducing the ladder weight by as much as 90%."
Safety and health experts believe a ladder transport cart minimizes heavy lifting and carrying and therefore can reduce the incidence of MSDs. There have not been independent published studies measuring the effect of a ladder transport cart on the incidence of MSDs. However, studies have shown an association between manual materials handling and low back pain. (Kuiper et al. 1999; van der Molen et al. 2005). The ladder transport cart reduces the amount of manual materials handling and therefore may reduce the incidence of low back pain.
Additionally, studies have shown there is strong evidence that low-back disorders are associated with work-related lifting and forceful movements (Bernard 1997). A ladder transport cart reduces the heavy lifting as well as the need for forceful movements. Therefore, its use may decrease the incidence of low-back disorders.
Effects on Productivity:
A ladder transport cart may increase productivity by decreasing the transportation time
Dan Anton, PT, PhD, ATC; and Jesse Brouwer, SPT – Eastern Washington University