If you manage a warehouse or have experience working with MHEs, pallets are as common to you as stop signs or silverware. But, just because you can tell a butter knife from a steak knife doesn’t mean you can’t hurt yourself, or someone else, if you handle one incorrectly or carelessly. Pallets in a warehouse are no different – comfort working with and close proximity to them doesn’t mean accidents can’t happen. In order to ensure greater safety and efficiency in your operation, be sure that your operators and other workers are following proper pallet safety protocols.
- Wear Cut Resistant Gloves: Whenever handling pallets, workers should wear gloves to protect from cuts or slivers.
- Avoid Placing Pallets on Their Sides: When stacking or storing pallets, place them down flat, as their design intends. Upright pallets or pallets leaning against a wall or column can fall on workers or into the path of forklift trucks.
- Avoid Standing and Walking on Pallets: Decks and back porches are designed for walking and standing – pallets are not. Nails may be exposed or the pallet may be damaged and an individual deckboard may not be able to sustain the weight of an individual.
- Follow Proper Lifting Techniques: Pallets weigh nearly 100 pounds – a number that even weightlifters know needs to be taken seriously. Injuries resulting from poor lifting practices are one of the most common warehouse related injuries (slips and falls being the most common).
- Check Pallets Before Use: OSHA requires work trucks be checked before every shift because preventing accidents and vehicle abuse saves lives and prevents injuries. Protecting equipment from malfunction by noticing things ahead of time also prevents downtime and the cost of repairs or replacing equipment or damaged inventory. Therefore, check pallets before utilizing them for storage or load-bearing to be sure they are not damaged, cracked, or broken.
- Immediately Discard Damaged Pallets: Noticing a damaged pallet may have prevented an accident, but just setting the pallet aside to deal with later may result in it getting lost in the shuffle, a ticking time bomb waiting to go off. As soon as a damaged pallet is discovered, workers should discard the pallet in the designated waste or recycling area before continuing with their work.
- Right Size For the Job: Just as you wouldn’t cut your rib eye steak with a butter knife, don’t use a pallet that’s too small for the job. Make sure a pallet’s size and load capacity are compatible with the job required.
If you are a warehouse manager who found this information helpful and would like assistance creating a more efficient workplace, or you just have questions, feel free to call HCO Innovations at 888-755-9566 or contact us through our website.