Material Handling Aids

Material handling aids allow you to move materials safely.

Simple rules for using material handling aids safely

Using material handling aids to move heavy loads is a good way to prevent painful injuries. But you need to know how to use equipment safely. Follow these safety steps for using common material handling aids.

Hand trucks

  • Choose the right truck for the job.
  • Stack carefully and make sure you can see over the load.
  • Secure the load, if necessary.
  • Get a firm grip and watch your fingers.
  • Use safe lifting techniques.
  • Push, don’t pull.
  • Watch where you’re going and keep the hand truck under control.

Pallet jacks

  • Check that the load is stable and balanced.
  • Keep the pallet low when moving it.
  • Watch where you’re going and keep the jack under control.

Four-wheel carts

  • Don’t overload, and make sure you can see over the load.
  • Avoid lips and edges.
  • Watch out for pinch points—hand jams are a particular problem with carts.


  • Operate a conveyor only if you are trained and authorized.
  • Watch out for powered rollers and pinch points.
  • Avoid climbing over or under conveyors.
  • Do not perform maintenance on a conveyor unless it is shut off.
  • Do not ride on conveyors.
  • Know the safe load limit.
  • Know where emergency stops are located

Be a Safety Expert: Know the precautions to use on your job

Who knows most about the hazards of your job and the precautions that must be taken to prevent accidents and injuries? If the answer to that question isn’t “you,” then you’re not as safe at work as you think. If you’re not sure about hazards or protections, ask your supervisor or the safety director what you should do. They’ll be happy to help.