Among the top causes of injuries in warehouses and industrial storage spaces are accidents involving wooden pallets. Fully stocked pallets are heavy, and can cause intense crush injuries and even fatalities if not stored or transported correctly. Wooden pallets can splinter and break, causing cuts, grazes, and abrasions if mishandled or improperly built.
To that end, we have prepared this list of safety strategies in the workplace aimed at minimizing accidents and injuries related to wooden pallets:
1. Inspect the pallets before using them
Before loading the cargo and putting it on a forklift, it should be inspected for any damage. Pallets that have been cracked are highly unlikely to carry a full load, so it is important not to risk it. These damaged pallets have to be removed from service in case they damage property or cause injuries.
The pallets must also be checked for protruding nails and screws to prevent wounds and tetanus infections to take care of the workers’ well-being.
2. Always wear safety gear
Even if your employees are taking a stroll through the warehouse or storage facility, they must be wearing the proper safety gear at all times. This can be taken one step further if they are made tower protective gloves. Protective gloves can prevent those handling the pallets from being wounded by jutting nails and screws and can prevent splinters from getting under their skin.
Safety footwear is also essential, especially since a loaded pallet experiencing a short drop can break bones in the foot.
3. Practice safe handling
If the pallets are to be handled manually and without a forklift, employees must carry the cargo with the proper posture and form. The lift must also be performed from the knees to prevent lower back injuries. Likewise, lifting straps will aid greatly in this endeavor.
Empty pallets should also never be thrown or flung, as they can injure people below. If they smash apart, the flying splinters will cause minor injuries at best and severe deep cuts at worst.
4. Be careful when loading or stacking
Keep in mind that pallets have a maximum permitted weight. Exceeding this weight can be dangerous as it puts them at risk of structural failure. This failure is likely to happen while the loaded pallet is being transported or raised, which increases the dangers even more.
Stacks on the pallet must also never be greater than four feet. Similarly, they should be stacked with forklifts, especially if the stack is more than six layers.
5. Keep the area clean
If any spill or breakage happens for any reason, the area must be fully swept and cleaned before allowing access again. This is to prevent accidents from creating more accidents. Keep in mind that pallets and other industrial materials and equipment should never be stacked near entrances and fire extinguishers.
The five points mentioned are merely some of the basic precautions you can take to avoid workplace accidents. As you might have noticed, none of these involve any specialized equipment or strategies. As long as you handle your warehouse and storage facility with some common sense, and abide by regulations and limitations, you can effectively keep your workers and cargo safe from unwanted accidents.
If you’re looking for wooden pallets for sale in Tomball, TX, send us at JL Texas Pallets & Logistics a message. We have high-quality wooden pallets that are strong and durable, making them safer to use. We can even custom make them for you!