Solution Summary: Pipe Rack Cart
A pipe rack cart is an engineering control that can reduce musculoskeletal disorders from manual material handling. As opposed to two workers lifting the pipe from the ground, hoisting it up onto their shoulders and then transporting it, a pipe rack cart allows one worker to transport multiple pipes securely.
A pipe rack cart generally contains arms that have uprights or are angled to help prevent material from falling. These carts are generally constructed from steel. Weight capacities and dimensions vary per cart make and model. Some pipe rack carts have optional brakes. Depending on transportation needs, please refer to the vendors for the appropriate truck.
Greenlee Bent Conduit Cart (Photo courtesy of Greenlee Tools, Inc.)
Heavy lifting and carrying can cause musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) of the low back, 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.
How Risks are Reduced:
Pipe rack carts reduce heavy lifting and carrying by supporting multiple pipes during movement across a variety of surfaces.
Although there are no published studies on low back injuries and pipe rack carts, safety and health experts believe there is a reduction in risk. Lifting with the back bent forward increases the risk of low back injury (Hoogerdoorn et al. 2000). The pipe rack cart reduces lifting from a stooped posture that requires the back bent forward as it provides a raised lifting point for workers when unloading materials
To eliminate lifting as much as possible, operators should ensure that the arm height is at the same level of the surface of materials. The wheels and balance of certain lifts may not be suitable for use on uneven surfaces. This may shift the load on the top rack and cause the cart to be tipped over. Therefore, the operations manual should be checked before use.
While a pipe rack cart provides a raised lifting point for workers when unloading materials, workers may still be required to load, pull and push materials and may expose them to other musculoskeletal injury risk.
It is recommended users follow all manufacturer guidelines before using this equipment to ensure worker safety and compliance with applicable local, state or federal regulations.