Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Safety First when it comes to casters.

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Caster wheels that are incorrect for the floor surface can pose the risk of serious injury. Even brand new chairs can cause problems as they are routinely equipped with hard wheel casters suitable for carpeting. For chairs to roll safely, use hard wheels on carpeted floors, and soft wheels on chairmats and hard floor surfaces. Many new chairs are equipped with hard wheel casters for use on carpeted surfaces only. Hard wheels skate and slide on hard floor surfaces. For safe rolling on chairmats, and all hard floor surfaces, soft wheel casters should be used. Soft wheels provide traction and prevent sliding. Just as tires must have the proper tread for safe driving performance on dry pavement as well as slick or snow-covered roadways, chair movement depends on wheels that provide appropriate traction on hard and soft surfaces.
Hard floor surfaces require soft wheel casters or the chair will be subject to dangerously rapid movement. Many new chairs are equipped with hard wheel casters for use on carpeted surfaces only. Hard wheels skate and slide on hard floor surfaces. For safe rolling on chairmats, and all hard floor surfaces, soft wheel casters should be used. Soft wheels provide traction and prevent sliding. Spinning out of control while the user is seated or rolling away when the user rises, and then tries to resume a seat are other examples of what can happen if hard wheel casters are used on hard floor surfaces. In addition, injury due to falling is an obvious risk. A more insidious problem is the muscle strain that can result from constant efforts to keep the chair in place or trying to roll with an improper caster.

The requirements for carpeted floor surfaces is just the opposite. Hard wheel casters are necessary for the chair to glide smoothly across the carpet. If, instead, the caster grips the carpeting and the user tugs back and forth to move the chair, it can topple over. Even if this hazard is avoided, such constant exertion can result in strain and injury.

The use of the proper caster for the intended use is extremely important from a safety standpoint. Also take into consideration that the use of an improper caster can result in damage to the floor that it is rolling on. Hard wheels can scratch and damage wood floors and soft wheels can damage carpet fibers.
Choosing the proper caster is a Win - Win situation!!
Excerpts of the above were provided with permission by Master Caster in their flyer titled "Accidents Happen"