There are unfortunately few established guidelines for industrial bicycle usage, though there are some options available for industrial cycle training and certification from third-party providers. Generally, industrial cycle safety involves common sense decisions and proper safety equipment. Industrial bicycles, according to American industrial bicycle builder Worksman Cycles in Ozone Park, NY, come in a variety of shapes and sizes intended for different load applications. Some industrial bicycles are two-wheeled models with baskets front or rear or both, and some are three-wheeled bicycles that can carry large heavy equipment on a tray or basket between the two rear wheels.
Safe Industrial Bicycle Loading by Weight
Industrial cycle manufacturers generally provide load weight limits for every model manufactured. An industrial bicycle user should always follow these weight guidelines to ensure the bicycle handles safely while transporting heavy loads.
Distributing the Load Equally
When loading an industrial bicycle, the load should be distributed as evenly as possible. Models with two baskets should have roughly an even amount of weight in each basket, and models with only one basket should have the weight balanced in the center of the basket. Weight leaning to one side or another or exceptionally heavy loads in a front basket only are unsafe and liable to cause a cycling accident at the workplace.
If the industrial zone the bicycle is in is a hard-hat area, an industrial cyclist should wear a hard hat. If the industrial zone is not a hard-hat area, an industrial cyclist should wear a bicycle helmet approved by the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CSPC), the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or the Snell Memorial Foundation.
Lighting the Industrial Bicycle
Installing flashing bicycle safety lights to the front and rear of an industrial bicycle will aid in ensuring that other industrial equipment operators see an industrial cyclist. The human eye responds to two blinking lights better than one, so installing two lights both front and rear is the safest option. Bicycle safety lights are inexpensive and easily obtained from any local bicycle shop and most department stores.
Industrial Bicycle Safety Certification
There are companies available to train and certify industrial cyclists. This certification program is an excellent way for a company to insulate itself from needless worker injury claims, and to ensure the safety of its workforce. Industrial cycling certification is a relatively new field, and employers should research which companies offering this service are safety certified as well.
- macro vintage bicycle image by laurent dambies from Fotolia.com