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7 Tips to Working Safely with Pallets

07 Aug 2014

Pallets are a highly efficient means of storing and transporting goods across the world. However, it’s important to ensure you adopt the right safety measures when using pallets. Incorrect and unsafe use of them could result in damage to goods or property or injuries to employees. These seven tips should help to ensure they’re used in the correct manner every time.

The Design of a Pallet

Not all pallets are the same, and there is a wide range of different sizes and styles in use. These are all suited to particular types of loads and transportation methods. The manufacturer or your supplier can provide you with information and advice on which type you require. It’s vital that you have the correct pallet design for the loads you will be carrying, otherwise items could be damaged or workers injured.

Pallet Construction

When you receive new pallets or used ones from an outside source, you should check that they are structurally sound and have no defects. You could limit the risk of using inadequate pallets by only buying from a well-known supplier. Pallets that are not secure or constructed correctly could be unsuitable for the types of loads they’ll be carrying.

The Materials Used

Pallets are generally constructed from either wood or plastic. They both have their advantages and disadvantages, so you should decide which is the most appropriate for your needs. Understand exactly what is involved in the manufacturing process, and ensure that the pallets comply with any industry standards.

Weight Limits

All pallets will have certain weight limits that you shouldn’t exceed. This ensures that the pallet can accommodate the necessary loads you require safely. Once the pallets are in use, don’t overfill them or use them for incorrect loads. This could result in an accident happening, or the goods inside could become damaged.

Use Pallets Correctly

Even when you have chosen the right pallet for the work and required load, if you don’t then use them in the right manner, an accident could still happen. Many injuries are caused in manufacturing or transportation sites from simply handling or storing pallets incorrectly. Don’t stack the pallets too high, as this could cause them to fall over. You also need to use the right methods for moving and lifting the pallets, such as a forklift truck. However, these pieces of equipment should only be operated by those who have the right training and know how to use them correctly and safely.

Keep Different Pallets Separate

If you are using a combination of Euro pallets and standard UK ones, don’t use them together. As they are not the same size, they cannot be stacked on top of each other and will take up more space in storage.

Check Your Pallets

Pallets can be used a number of times without impacting on their quality, and plastic pallets last considerably longer than wooden ones. It’s important to inspect them before and after use for signs of damage, including cracks or nails and splinters in wooden models. If there are any areas of damage, these should be repaired or you should use a new pallet instead.


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