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How to use a Trolley safely at Work

How to use a trolley safely

When heavy loads need to be moved safely and securely, trucks and trolleys are ideal. By utilising trolleys in your workplace, you can be assured that all necessary safety precautions are taken, and work efficiency rates are kept high.

Keep reading our handy guide to find out which trolley type best suits your business and how to use trolleys correctly to ensure everyone’s safety.

Risk assessments for safe handling

Essential health and safety rules can keep your workplace in check and allow your employees to use trolleys securely.

Platform trolley

As with most health and safety procedures, a risk assessment is the best way to identify and solve any issues considered a risk. This risk assessment should be carried out by the employer and consist of pinpointing possible hazards, deciding how damage might occur, implementing the correct control methods and coming up with all the possible outcomes to a particular risk factor.

Some questions that provide a good starting point for your trolley risk assessment may include:

  • Are the ground conditions suitable to allow the trolley to move seamlessly?
  • Can the load be moved easily without the need for manual handling?
  • Is the trolley specifically designed for the task at hand?
  • Can the load be moved safely without risk of personal injury or damage to the load or property?
  • Is the proposed route clear of obstructions?

Techniques for safe handling

After loading up your trolley with goods, the practice of moving it safely is critical. There are some techniques that the operator must be mindful of for their own safety and the safety of others.

  • Loading the trolley: Ensure the goods are secure when placing items onto your trolley. This is important because your products could topple during transit if placed unsafely.
  • Pushing the trolley: To move your trolley from A to B, force must be applied. You need to apply 2% of the total weight for it to move. By leaning your total body weight into the trolley instead of using your arms and shoulders, you can reduce any chances of injury.
  • Sloped ground: By having an evenly distributed load, you are decreasing the risk of toppling on a slope. If your load is concentrated on one side, be aware that the trolley may tip over on a steep slope.
  • Uneven ground: Hard ground types such as wood, tile, or concrete require much less pushing force than soft ground types such as sand or mud. Choosing the correct type of wheels or castors for your trolley and ground type can decrease the effort you need to put in to keep your trolley moving.
  • Unloading the trolley: After reaching your destination, gently unloading your goods from a low height keeps you and your items safe and secure.


What type of trolley is best for my business?

With so many trolleys available, knowing which design best suits your work can be confusing. Each trolley has varying weight capacities and wheel types which are only suitable for specific uses.

Cage Trolleys

Cage trolley

These provide a moving platform that benefits from mesh cage sides, so your products stay put whilst being transported. Cage trolleys are ideal for use in retail, warehouse and supermarket environments.

Gas Cylinder Trolleys

Gas cylinders can be hazardous to move from one place to another if mishandled. Gas cylinder trolleys provide you with a safe and secure method of transportation which prevents them from toppling over or becoming damaged during transit.

Chair Trolleys

Where you require many chairs to be put away and folded away constantly, chair trolleys provide a helping hand that allows you to complete these jobs more efficiently. Whether for a school or a large conference, folded chairs can be stacked onto the chair trolley, ready to be wheeled into and out of storage.

We stock many more varieties of trolleys on our website, view our range of trolleys here or use the search to find the trolley you need.

Platform Trolleys

Platform trolleys are versatile, wheeled transport aids used in a variety of workplaces to move heavy or bulk items easily and efficiently. They feature a flat surface, or platform, and are typically designed to accommodate substantial weight loads, offering an invaluable tool in places such as warehouses, factories, retail stores, and hospitals, where large quantities of goods, equipment, or supplies need to be moved around regularly.

Turntable trucks are a specific type of platform trolley, distinguished by their rotating platform or turntable steering mechanism. This allows for improved manoeuvrability, making them ideal for navigating through tight spaces or corners.

Our Workplace Trolley Top Tips

Following the correct handling techniques can ensure your trolley lasts you a long time. Even so, we have compiled a list of our top tips to keep both you and your trolley safe whilst in use:

  • Never attempt to lift a load you don’t think you or your equipment can manage – get help or split the load.
  • Always wear suitable loose-fitting clothing and safety footwear, using personal protective equipment where appropriate.
  • Where applicable, ensure the brakes are on when the trolley is stationary, particularly on sloping ground.
  • Never intentionally create large loads when several small loads are a safer alternative.

Caring for your trolley:

  • Keep your trolley in the best possible condition by keeping it safe in a clean and dry location.
  • Check for cracked or damaged welds before every use.
  • Never load your trolley above the recommended weight capacity.
  • Check the quality of the wheels and replace them straight away if worn out or damaged.

We hope you have found this guide on safe trolley use to be helpful. If you have any questions or queries, please do not hesitate to contact our friendly and helpful staff, who will be more than happy to help.


Richard O'Connor's Headshot

Richard O'Connor is a Director at First Mats. He has deep knowledge in areas like Manufacturing, Warehousing, Marine, and Health & Safety. Richard's insights have been featured in well-known publications such as Bloomberg Business, The Sun, and Reader's Digest. His blend of industry expertise and passion for sharing makes him a sought-after voice in his fields.

Contact Richard