Updated: Dec 20, 2021
Pallets are fundamental to warehouse and industrial life. They are immensely helpful in allowing workers to move loads around in a safe and quick manner. We often forget how hazardous the pallets can be when misused though. Here are some important tips for keeping safe when using pallets.
Housekeeping Tips - Wood Pallets
Inspect the pallet condition before use:
Can the pallet be safely stored with a heavy load?
Does it have loose nails, splinters, cracks or weaknesses?
Does it need to be replaced?
Are the stringer in good condition?
Can the stringer be repaired?
Should the pallet be replaced?
Is the pallet clean?
Pallets are known to carry E. Coli, Listeria and Salmonella,
if you are using the pallets for food ensure they are cleaned
regularly or better yet use plastic pallets which are easy to clean before or after each use.
Wear gloves when handling wooden pallets to protect the hands from splinters and nails.
Moving a pallet manually:
The safest way to move a pallet is by standing it on its edge and sliding it across the floor.
Separate unsafe pallets:
Remove unsafe or damaged pallets away from those ready to use.
Having an established recycling or rubbish zone for pallets is ideal.
Is the pallet size suitable?
Ensure pallet sizes are compatible with the safety standards of your material handling equipment.
Ensure load capacities are not exceeded, especially when loading and unloading.
Check your manual handling equipment for its load capacity and loading specifications.
Be aware that as the load centre of a pallet increases, the lifting capacity of the handling equipment decreases.
Ensure items are stacked on the pallet in a safe manner.
Stack pallets in a place sheltered from wind, to avoid pallets being blown over. If this is unable to be done, use strap on pallets to avoid potential harm from pallets being blown over.
Stack pallets in areas where they can be easily noticed by traffic on site.
Avoid having these stacks near pathways, entrances or exits.
Inspect pallets on a daily basis to ensure they are intact and safe for use.
Inspect stacks of pallets to ensure they have not moved and become unsafe.
Stack similar types of pallets together and in the same direction to maintain weight distribution and to make moving pallets easier.