In the logistics and warehousing arenas, pallets are one of the most basic items, but still one of the most widely used. They are an almost indispensable tool to many UK facilities or workplaces. Pallet handling methods ensures the smooth running of many warehouse spaces, by enabling easy transporting and storage methods alike.
Despite the importance of pallets, unfortunately they can cause numerous injuries to your workforce. The importance of understanding pallet handling risks will mean that you create a safer environment for your workforce. But, what are the best practices to follow to ensure the least level of risk.
How to make pallet handling safe?
Minimising risk in the workplace is of key importance to all businesses. Ensuring your staff feel safe at work and injuries are kept to an absolute minimum, will create a more productive workforce. Likewise, creating a safer environment will enable your employees to concentrate on their work, by implementing safety practices and procedures. To make sure that staff are working safely in your warehouse, they should:
Regular pallet inspection
Accidents and hazards are easily avoidable through regular, quick and cheap inspections. Thus, damaged pallets should not be used, as they are unlikely to be able to meet the functions of a working pallet, which could lead to injury. As a result, you should not use any pallets with any faults, cracks or loose nails. This will bring higher risk levels to tasks involving pallet handling.
Wearing the correct personal protective equipment (PPE)
The majority of pallet related injuries are on hands and feet. This is heavily due to the workforce not wearing the correct PPE, which protects hands and feet alike. Protective gloves ensure protection to fingers and hands, as well as improving work rate. Most safety gloves have enhanced grip, which enables workers to perform tasks at a faster rate. Likewise, the correct protective footwear ensures your feet are safe from injury. Robust footwear will protect feet from pallets being dropped on them and from any loose nails or splinters poking out from pallets.
Implement safe pallet handling training
As with most jobs, training is of paramount importance. High-level training gives employees the best opportunity to complete their job in the most productive way, whilst remaining safe. When it comes to pallet handling, similarly to lifting any heavy items, employees should know not to lift with their back. Throwing or dropping pallets should be avoided where possible, to ensure they are not damaged.
Be aware of pallet handling details
Knowing the details and rules to follow for pallet handling is important. Confirming the weight is not too heavy, evenly distributed and flat will avoid complications. Employees should know which situations to use pallet jacks or a forklift.
Well maintained workspace
Maintaining a workplace where pallet handling comes into play is important. You can lower the risk level by sticking to good housekeeping rules. Additionally, left over debris brings the risk of trip hazards and getting in the way of jacks or forklifts.
Introducing automation to stacking solutions
As manual jobs in the logistics and supply chain industries become less desirable, automation continues to become more relevant. Pallet stacking is a tedious task to complete for in the eyes of many people. Implementing automated stacking systems to your warehouse will allow your workforce to concentrate their minds on more complicated tasks. Integrating automation will also improve the productivity of the workplace. Fully automated systems can run for 24 hours of the day if needs be, without a break or pause.
Stacking and de-stacking at L-A-C Conveyors & Automation
At L-A-C Conveyors & Automation, we specialise in providing automated solutions to warehouse spaces. We provide the full warehouse system, implementing bespoke amounts of automation levels. Consequently, this depends upon customer needs and job specifications. Providing pallet handling, stacking and de-stacking solutions as part of an automated system, is something that the L-A-C team have great experience and expertise in.
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