Employees repeatedly move full
kegs of beer from a delivery truck to a hand truck.
Product is moved from above shoulder height to
approximately waist height. These tasks pose an increased risk of pain and injury and
should be considered hazardous unless appropriate
solutions are implemented.
Fig. 1: Two employees lifting the keg are safer than one.
Heavy loads must be
repeatedly lifted to move
kegs around the truck, to
move kegs from the truck to
ground, to move kegs from
the ground to hand truck and
to position kegs at the
customer site. These loads
can be especially heavy with
a full keg of beer weighing
approximately 162 pounds.
Continued lifting of items
in this weight range is
consistent with developing
low back injury.
If kegs must be lifted manually, use two employees
whenever possible (Fig. 1). The use of two employees
when using proper lifting techniques will generally
reduce the hazard of any lift.
When using a low bay delivery
truck, train employees to "walk" the kegs (using
the edge of the keg) to the end of the bay or onto the
toe plate of the hand trucks. "Walking" the second keg
onto the first keg is another way to reduce lifting.
Minimize manual lifting of kegs whenever
Use an articulated arm or other lifting mechanism to
lower and position kegs or other heavy objects from
the truck bed to the ground level or upper level of
Investigate the use of a clamping device that allows
the keg to be used as an integral part of the
rolling operation. This type of device has been used
to roll kegs off trucks or down stairs (Fig. 1a) or as a
transport device (Fig. 1b).
Fig. 1a: Employee using clamping device to roll the keg off the truck.
Fig. 1b: Employee using clamping device to transport the keg.
- Frequent lifting and lowering of beer kegs involves torso bending. Frequent torso bending is consistent
with developing low back injuries.
- Educate the employee on the basics of body biomechanics and the importance of
maintaining the body in an ergonomically neutral position. Generally
the torso should not be bent forward more than 6 to 10 degrees from vertical
(Fig. 2) and
reaches should not exceed 16 to 17 inches.
- Install a lift gate on the trucks so the kegs can
be transported to the gate and lowered to a height for
unloading which will not require excess torso bending. Generally lifts should be performed at about
Fig. 2: Good position
with minimum torso bending.
- Use sheet metal or other low friction
material for the flooring of delivery trailers so the kegs can
slide. Experiment using a hook to pull the kegs into
position. Using a hook could minimize the amount of torso
bending that is necessary to move kegs within the delivery
- Develop a hand truck with an adjustable nose plate
so loading and unloading can always be done at about
- Work with customers to develop storage areas and tap
cooler units that do not require using frequent
torso bending or lifting beer kegs.
Fig. 3: Pushing the keg
above the shoulders.
- The employee throws empty kegs up into the truck
after removal from the customers premises. This
involves a pushing motion from a position above the
employee's shoulder (Fig. 3). Pushing items in the weight
range of an empty keg can lead to shoulder and upper arm injuries.
- Educate the employee on the basics of body
biomechanics and the importance of performing lifting,
pushing and pulling tasks at approximately mid chest
level or lower.
- Provide a lift platform on the truck so the kegs
can be raised without the employee lifting above mid chest level.