Do you also work like many other people in a craft business? Perhaps as a mechanic or electrician? If so, your toolbox is probably one of your most important pieces of equipment. But all too often, toolboxes are bulky, heavy and not particularly easy to take to the work site. Pain in the back and joints by the end of the day is common from lugging around this unwieldy companion. Yet there is a solution for every problem and strain on the back can be considerably reduced.
Getting more exercise is probably the most important tip to prevent back pain. Movement strengthens the muscles and adequately works the intervertebral discs, but only if you exercise ergonomically. If you work as a mechanic, you know that is often not possible. After all, you frequently have to work in hard to reach areas and the working posture is not always ideal either. Even more reason to make the trip from your base of operations to the work site as pleasant as possible. Strain on the back and joints can be reduced considerably with a toolbox designed according to ergonomic considerations.
But what does such a tool case look like? Simple: Being able to push or pull the toolbox like a trolley during transport makes things a lot easier. The telescoping handle required for this purpose should make it comfortable to pull for both tall and short people. Large wheels also make transportation comfortable and easy. Especially when crossing small obstacles or negotiating stairs, large wheels that run smoothly are highly advantageous to avoid heavy lifting and carrying, preventing unbalanced loads on the body.
When carrying cannot be avoided, the handles should be ergonomically designed and positioned so that carrying close to the body is possible, on both the right and left sides. If a lot of carrying is necessary, it should be possible to shift your grip every now and then. This prevents muscle imbalances that are detrimental for the back and intervertebral discs.
Folding supports are rarely found on toolboxes. Yet they have a big advantage. By raising the toolbox up, removing the tools required while working is much easier on the back. For ceiling work, the toolbox can also be used as a ladder replacement to work in elevated positions. This can avoid or reduce overextension, which is very hard on the back. A sturdy, slip-resistant step ensures the required safety while climbing. The toolbox can also serve as a seat for working lower down and during breaks. A toolbox should have a load capacity of up to 150 kg.
Not just the exterior but also the interior should be well thought out. For instance, an ergonomic centre of gravity position when filling the toolbox with all required tools is very helpful. This means the centre of gravity should be as close as possible over the wheel axle. Intelligent compartmentalisation makes it possible. When large, heavy items are stored in the lower section, the centre of gravity stays low. Smaller and lighter tools are then stored in the upper compartments.
A mechanism to hold the cover on the toolbox open is highly recommended for safety reasons. Special dampers ensure that it does not fall shut, excluding the possibility of finger injuries. Last but not least, screwdrivers, pliers and the like should be arranged for quick and easy access.
By the way: Visit our “Trades” overview page for more information about back-friendly tools.