The wheel is broken. You need to find it and re-attach it.
is the strangest damn game-mechanic I've ever encountered.
I scoured the freezer for 15 minutes, trying that wheel-less switch many times with there being no apparent need to attach a wheel, before I resorted to this thread. Pointless props nowhere in sight with no indication of reattachment are NOT a good gameplay mechanic.
There was no introduction of this wheel-fixing concept in an easier form, to hint at the puzzle-solution, and no indication that the switch itself was lacking a lever. There was no instructional diagram hinting that a wheel should be there, nor any wheel in the immediate vicinity which called for dicking with.
Office Complex went from being a pretty cool chapter to being my least favorite in Black Mesa due to this oversight.