Solution Summary: Bucket Handle Cover
The bucket handle cover is an engineering control that may help reduce stressful hand and wrist activity. A bucket handle cover is a two-piece handle that snaps over the existing handle of any five-gallon bucket, increasing gripping surface.
Most plastic buckets purchased today come standard with a thin plastic handle no more than a ½ inch in diameter. The weight of a five-gallon bucket filled to capacity can be as much as 40-60 pounds. When lifting loads of this weight, a small grip focuses the weight of the load across a small surface area, increasing stress on the hand and fingers. A bucket handle cover is a two-piece mechanism that attaches over the standard bucket handle. This cover increases the handle diameter to 1 ½ – 2 inches which helps to distribute the strain of the load over a larger surface area.
My Grip by FastCap is a re-moldable grip. (Photo courtesy of FastCap, LLC.)
How Risks are Reduced:
A bucket handle cover reduces the risk of diminished strength and increased exertion of the hands. By using a grip with a diameter within the range of 31 – 50 mm, the worker can displace the exertion force created on the hand more evenly.
Although specific studies on bucket handles have not been performed, numerous research has been conducted on tool handle diameter and shape. The results of these studies suggest that the optimal diameter of a handle should be in the range of 1.22 inches – 1.96 inches (31 – 50 mm). Diameters at the lower end of the range aide in improving dexterity and diameters at the upper end of the range help to improve torque.
Effects on Productivity:
Productivity may be indirectly improved since use of the bucket handle cover makes manual material handling more comfortable.
A bucket handle cover may also be attached to other items to make them easier to handle. Examples include straps around heavy materials such as rebar or wire fencing, making it easier to transport these items.
Dan Anton, PT, PhD, ATC and Michael Milanoski, SPT – Eastern Washington University