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Ergonomics eTool: Solutions for Electrical Contractors
                   Materials Handling | Installation & Repair | Prefabrication | Supplemental Info.


Prefabrication allows conduit to be bent and shaped off-site using larger benders capable of handling bigger gauges. However, employees are still exposed to ergonomics-related risk factors when bending conduits in a prefabrication shop. Employee using machine to bend conduit

Transport and Loading
Potential Hazards:
Mobile conduit rack
Figure 1
Mobile conduit rack.

Moving stock with mechanical assistance
Figure 2
Moving stock with mechanical
  • Large-gauge conduit may be heavy. Lifting, moving, arranging, handling and carrying these sections can be very physically demanding, increasing the risk of overexertion of the back and shoulders.

  • When large conduit is bent, it is harder to handle than straight, uniform lengths of conduit. This results in awkward postures such as overhead reaching and bending at the waist to move and position large, unwieldy sections.
Possible Solutions:
  • Store conduit in containers or on racks (Figure 1) when delivered instead of placing it on the floor.

  • Use overhead cranes, forklifts, or other mechanical assists to move stock and finished pieces (Figure 2).

  • Use containers with handles, carts (approximately waist height), or attachable handles to facilitate moving larger sections of conduit.

  • Maintain all rollers, wheels, and guides on carts to minimize rolling resistance. Wheels should be at least 6 inches in diameter - the larger the wheel the less force is required to move carts.

  • Keep work areas clear of obstructions to minimize interferences when lifting and maneuvering large conduit. This includes both overhead and ground-level obstructions.
  • If necessary to manually move material, get help to handle large sections after conduit is bent.

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