Using casters to reduce manual lifting and movement is a significant ergonomics intervention. Ergonomics studies work demands and environments to prevent MSDs, improve performance, and increase job satisfaction.
Workplace ergonomics is more than a buzzword or trend; it’s about ensuring your equipment and employees can safely move, control, and maneuver loads. This is especially important with carts that require an initial and ongoing amount of force to get moving.
The right casters can minimize this initial and continuous push force, allowing the operator to exert less effort with better results. For example, dual wheel shock absorbing casters reduce the impact of rolling over bumps or uneven surfaces that can damage and wear out other types of wheels.
Caster is one of the most underappreciated vehicle alignment adjustments, but it’s also the most important for driving safety and performance. Put, caster is the angle of the lower ball joint or strut mount about the upper steering system and suspension components. Positive caster (also called positive camber) positions the wheel’s contact patch in front of the steering system and suspension components during cornering. The negative caster positions the contact patch behind the steering system and suspension components.
Many suspension casters have built-in springs that cushion the impact of rolling over obstacles and rough terrain. This helps reduce the vibrations affecting the equipment they’re attached to and the workers operating it.
This is especially helpful for hospitals and manufacturing plants that strive to keep noise levels within healthy limits. Excessive noise is a major contributor to stress and fatigue and can trigger health issues such as hearing loss and hypertension.
The springs in these casters also help to dampen the pounding sounds that often come with traversing rough surfaces in factories and warehouses. However, selecting a caster with the correct spring deflection for the load you’re carrying is important. Otherwise, the spring may not compress enough and fail to absorb any shocks. Choosing a caster that offers multiple settings, such as positive and negative caster, allows you to customize the amount of spring deflection for your application.
Lower Noise Levels
Noise levels in the workplace can significantly distract employees and increase fatigue, headaches, hypertension, and hearing loss. This issue can be compounded when carts, dollies, and gondolas move across the factory or plant floor with pounding wheels.
However, this problem can be easily solved with noise-reducing casters that dampen the jolt and vibration generated by moving carts. This is accomplished by combining a flexural spring encased within the wheel hub with an elastomer to absorb and dampen movement.
These casters are independently supported, meaning that when one wheel encounters an obstruction, it deflects in a controlled fashion without impacting the other. This prevents excessive stress from being placed on the caster wheel or cart and prevents damage to contents. This type of caster can be designed to have different spring capacities that provide the best level of vibration reduction for each specific weight load. This allows manufacturers to customize their casters for each application.
A lack of workplace ergonomics leads to musculoskeletal issues, the number one cause of employee sick days. Improving ergonomics on carts, dollies, and equipment can reduce employee exertion force, prevent injuries, and improve workplace morale.
Dual wheel shock absorbing casters help minimize the impact that carts and equipment experience when moving over rough or uneven surfaces. This helps protect sensitive cargo and reduce the risk of employee injury.
Most dual-wheel casters are outfitted with independent spring systems, allowing each wheel to react independently when encountering obstacles such as obstructions, ramps, and uneven flooring. This allows the caster to remain stable on the ground and prevents excessive stress from being placed on a single point of contact, which can lead to damage or failure. Additionally, many casters are outfitted with NBR rubber-based springs, eliminating the shortened service life and loss of tension found in traditional metal springs. This extends the service life and provides a much more comfortable ride.