Working with pallets can present hazards for both workers and equipment. Workers can suffer cuts and abrasions from pallets in disrepair, and unstable pallets can break, dropping freight and causing potential damage to equipment and injury to workers. CCMSI, a Danville, IL-based risk management service provider, offers these tips for working safely with pallets:
- Inspect every pallet for any defects such as loose nails, splinters, cracks or weaknesses. Discard or repair any pallet that is not in good working order.
- When not in use, properly store pallets, stacking them in flat, stable piles no higher than 4 feet.
- Make sure pallets are loaded with even weight distribution, and do not exceed maximum weight capacity when loading or stacking.
- Keep pallets clear of areas that may need to be accessed, such as doorways, emergency exits, fire extinguishers, emergency equipment and switch boxes.
- Do not drop or bang pallets.
- Be cautious when lifting – use two employees for heavy loads to reduce the risk of strain and ensure proper weight distribution.
- Avoid walking over pallets.
- Hand, foot and back injuries are common when working with pallets, so be sure to always use appropriate personal protective equipment.