Warehousing can be a dangerous job. In fact, it was the second most common industry for fatal workplace injuries in 2020.
Due to the dangerous nature of the job, pallet safety standards are incredibly important for keeping employees safe on the job. In order to improve your warehouse safety, you should be aware of important pallet jack safety tips.
That’s why we’ve assembled this guide of ways to keep yourself and your employees safe. From how to move pallets to how to store them, we’ve got you covered on some of the most important required OSHA pallet safety standards.
Pallet Safety Inspections
Wood pallets can degrade over time due to exposure to moisture and other elements. Because of this, most wood pallets will only last 3-4 rounds through the supply chain before they need to be either repaired or replaced.
If you plan on reusing wood pallets, you should closely inspect them before every trip through the supply chain. Look for the following signs of damage:
Broken or Loose Boards
Splinters aren’t the only injury you can get from a loose or broken pallet board. Because the boards used in pallets can shrink or expand depending on the amount of moisture in them, they can create an overall unsafe situation.
Compromised boards destabilize the entire pallet load. This makes it more likely to break or otherwise fail during distribution. Loose boards can also damage machinery used for pallet transport.
It’s a common occurrence for nails to protrude from a pallet. This can lead to serious injury to your workers and damage to your machinery.
If you spot a protruding nail during your inspections, you should repair or replace it right away.
Safe Pallet Handling
After inspections, you need to be sure to handle pallets safely, as well. Whether you life pallets manually or via forklift, you should practice the following pallet rack safety tips:
- Properly train employees
- If lifting manually, always lift with two or more people
- Avoid overloading pallets
- Avoid unevenly distributing weight on pallets
- Avoid stacking empty pallets over 15 feet
- Always keep the warehouse floor clear and clean
You should always refer to OSHA standards when handling and storing pallets. For example, not stacking pallets over 15 feet, or over 6 feet if stacking by hand.
With the proper pallet handling practices, you can greatly reduce the change of injury on the job. It is of utmost importance that your employees are properly trained in safe lifting, handling, and storing practices.
Use the Proper Equipment
Even if you’ve inspected your pallets and are handling them as safely as possible, injury can still occur. You can further minimize the risk by using the proper equipment.
For example, electric pallet jacks from https://liftequipt.com.au/electric-pallet-jacks can ensure that pallets are being lifted and handled in the safest and easiest way possible.
On the Job Safety for Everyone
Now that you know more about pallet safety, you can help to keep your employees safe on the job. Safe, healthy employees are good news for everyone, as it keeps productivity high and the threat of lawsuits low.
Check out our Business section for more tips on how to boost productivity on the job!