Despite their widespread use in many industries, wooden pallets can be dangerous if not handled properly. To avoid injuries such as sprained ankles, broken toes, or other open-body injuries, handlers must take appropriate precautions and use them. These precautions should be observed whether working with loaded pallets or empty pallets. In this post, let’s learn about safe ways to use wooden pallets to avoid unwanted injuries.
The top injuries that can happen with wooden pallets
The item on the wooden pallet is dropped
One of the most common incidents where employees are injured in a warehouse is when heavy products and pallets accidentally fall on them. Whether your items are not being placed carefully enough on the pallet or they have a unique shape and can easily get misplaced or rolled out, it is extremely important to make sure your products are Stacked on pallets carefully.
Slipping, and tripping on broken pallets
These types of accidents can lead to several different types of injuries, including concussions, head injuries, broken limbs, cracked ribs, or serious back problems. Although these are some of the most dangerous and common accidents in warehouses.
Pallet rack collapsed
Pallet collapse accidents happen for many reasons. Pallets can be hit by a forklift or similar machine. Pallets can be overloaded with too much product or poorly designed with insufficient lead clearance. It is also possible that some pallet racks were installed incorrectly or reused with products heavier than the recommended clearance. These types of accidents can be very dangerous, even the smallest product can be dangerous when falling from high-level supports.
How to use wooden pallets safely?
Contact with handling objects such as pallets and industrial equipment is a leading cause of warehouse-related injuries. To help protect your warehouse workers by providing safety education and mandatory compliance with pallet safety protocols including:
- Use pallets only for their intended purpose to carry an evenly distributed load. Do not use them for stairs, lifts, or anything other than their lifting function.
- Only stack pallets horizontally at a maximum height of 4 feet. Stack your heaviest products on the bottom shelves to reduce the chance of heavy items breaking the pallet girders
- Make sure the pallet racks have enough room in between them for movement and forklift access
- Do not stack empty pallets on top of each other as they are unstable and can easily topple, causing injury.
When working near pallets or handling pallets, wear gloves and safety shoes.
- For safe unloading, use the pick hook to reach the product on the back of the pallet and pull it forward. This prevents the pallet from becoming unstable and tipping over due to weight imbalance.
- Always lift empty pallets with a partner or use a forklift when possible. When lifting manually, keep the pallet upright and close to the chest for balance.
- Always clear any damaged pallets, nails, or other debris to prevent slips and falls or damage to material handling equipment.
- Only use and handle pallets in good condition. Discard damaged or substandard pallets for repair or recycling.
We encourage you to post these safety tips in your warehouse and remind your warehouse staff regularly.