Toolbox Talk: Material Transport Safety


Movement of materials within an outside the workplace is a routine activity which happens on daily basis, but is is not without risk.

Materials transport is carried out in the workplace in majorly two (2) forms.

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  • Manual material transport and
  • Mechanical material transport

Manual material transport

This involves use of hand to convey materials; it can also referred to as – Manual Handling. Manual material transport approach mainly poses risk of hand injury, back injury, etc. This risk can be avoided if a good manual lifting procedure is adopted.

Lifting should be done mentally before physically.

Mental lifting involves, accessing the nature of the load, its dimension, its weight, etc, before determining if it can be carried manually, if assistance is required or, if mechanical means needed.

The physical lifting is the actual lifting, this is where good manual lifting procedure is required.


Mechanical material transport

Mechanical material transport involves using mechanical means to transport work materials from one point to another.

Two major risk involve with mechanical transport of materials are:

  • Fall off of materials: This occurs when the material is not well loaded and secured.
  • Contact with personnel or third party: This can result to damages and death. This is why a good transport plan should be in place before material is conveyed; especially, material that could affect the flow of traffic.

What ever mode of material transport used, adequate safety measures should be followed to the later to avoid accident.


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