8 Pallet Safety Tips for Safer Use and Handling
Pallets are not quite noticeable since these are often used in loading and unloading cargo from ships and trucks. But, these seemingly simple yet functional pieces of wood, metal or plastic should be taken into consideration as well to ensure that they are safe to use.
Pallets have load limitations and can only be used a number of times. Hence, it is important to follow pallet safety tips to guarantee the safety of the people using these. The loads that these pallets bear will be safer when you take the time to use pallets properly; hence, making proper inspections needed prior to each use.
Safety Tips for Using Pallets
Here are some tips that you should remember if you are using them at work or even at home.
- Ensure that the pallets are appropriate for the weight of the load.
Before you load something on the pallet, make sure that you know the weight limit that you can load into it. There are pallets that are not for really heavy cargo so you need to make sure that the ones that you are using are meant for heavy-duty lifting if the load is quite heavy.
This is one of tips that you should also remember with heavy equipment safety tips since you will likely use heavy equipment to transport the cargo to another place. Make sure that you do not overload the pallet and the transport equipment to avoid accidents.
- Check for splinters and signs of wear in the pallets prior to usage.
Old and worn pallets should never be used as these can break and cause accidents. Workers might get injured by the splinters of the pallet or the falling load. Because of this, make sure that you check the pallets prior to usage.
Even if you think that the load is not too heavy, do not place it on the pallet if you notice that the latter is worn. The pieces of wood might bounce off the pallet and hurt workers around the workplace. Never use old and worn pallets even if you are trying to save money.
- Do not stack a pallet on its side.
Stacking pallets is not usually a concern but it is included in the things you need to be aware of on a dock because falling pallets can easily cause injuries. Make it a point to have the pallets stacked horizontally on top of one another. This will prevent the pallets from falling over.
Never place the pallet on its side since it can easily fall on workers and machines around it. Pallets are around 100 pounds each and a falling one can easily injure someone so have the pallets are stored properly when not in use.
- Do not walk on pallets.
Walking on pallets can be dangerous as nails and splinters can easily puncture your feet and legs. If you need to go to another area on your workplace, walk around the pallets even if it takes longer to get to your destination.
Do not let anyone step on the pallets and ensure that every worker in your area knows about this.
- Use gloves when handling wood pallets.
When handling wood pallets, make sure that you are wearing thick gloves to avoid getting splinters. Wood pallets can easily chip and splinter so make sure that you hands are protected.
- Use a forklift when stacking pallets.
When the pallets that you are stacking are more than 8 layers, use a forklift to stack the next layers. Follow these safety tips and ensure that you are stacking the pallets properly and in a safe place.
Do not stack pallets on high traffic areas when you can keep them in a corner, especially when they are not in use. Do not try to manually stack the pallets when they are more than 8 layers since it can be quite dangerous when they fall.
- Do not store pallets in areas with heat sources.
Remember fire safety tips when storing pallets, especially wood ones. Pallets can easily burn so do not store them in areas where they can catch on fire. Place them in a dry place but do not store them near fires and combustible materials as this can start a fire.
Teach kids about fire safety so that even when you are storing pallets in your home, you can be sure that kids won’t accidentally set them on fire.
- Separate unsafe pallets from safe and new ones.
Before using pallets, make sure that you have separated the old and worn ones from the new ones. Follow these safety tips and never let anyone use worn pallets since they can easily splinter. Separate the new ones from the old ones before they are used so that you won’t risk someone grabbing old pallets and using them on heavier loads.
You should also follow best truck driving practices when you are loading or unloading pallets. Make it a point to check your surroundings and make sure that you won’t be driving through pallets to keep your truck from having problems such as a flat tire from a pellet splinter puncturing the tire of your truck.
Practicing good safety may seem like an exaggeration but it is only sensible, especially if you are loading and unloading heavy cargo. Pallets are quite useful but they can also cause injuries and problems with equipment when not used properly. Hence, make it a point to review the information on this page and ensure that everyone in the workplace is using pallets appropriately.
Never overload a pallet and make sure that you are never using worn ones. If you need to recycle pallets, use them for other purposes and not for loading and unloading cargo since it can be quite dangerous.