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We utilize pallets in this facility each and everyday. From shipping product out the door to moving items internally . . . pallets are part of our daily life. However, over the past couple weeks we've had several near misses involving pallets and it might be time to review a few safety tips when working with pallets.
- When handling wood pallets, always use cut resistant gloves. This helps to prevent cuts and slivers.
- Look at a wood pallet before you pick it up to ensure there are no nails sticking out. Rusty nails that are typically found in wood pallets can puncture the skin causing Tetanus which can be fatal.
- Never walk over a wood pallet as there may be nails sticking up out of it. Additionally, you never know what shape a single deckboard may be in as you put your weight on it.
- When handling plastic pallets, be sure to have good posture. They are close to 100 lbs each and proper posture during moving them can prevent strains and pulls.
- Never stand a pallet up on its side. Always lay pallets flat on the ground as intended. A falling pallet, especially the plastic pallets can hurt someone walking or working by it.
- Because they are heavy and awkward to carry, move a pallet by standing on its edge and sliding it.
- Don't throw pallets because you can injure yourself and damage the pallet.- Don't manually stack pallets more than 7 or 8 high; use forklifts to make stacks higher.
- To properly stack pallets, slide the pallet to one side of the stack. Using proper lifting motion, slide the pallet up the side of the stack and onto the top.
- Broken pallets should be taken to the recycle area where they won't get used.
Each month we get near misses about slipping on pieces of wood from pallets that have broken off during use. If you see a piece of pallet on the floor, don't just kick it away, pick it up and throw it in a garbage can to prevent the next person from slipping on it
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- David Landskron