Pallets Pose Hazards When Handled
Many organizations either ship or receive materials on pallets and skids.
While this makes handling and moving material easier, pallets do pose
hazards to those working around them. Here's some tips for safely working
with pallets and skids.
- Inspect for splinters, loose nails and other defects. Set aside for
repair or discard any unsafe skids or pallets. When skids or pallets
are delivered from the manufacturer, spot check them to see that they
- Stack empty skids and pallets carefully so they are stable. Limit
piles to 4 feet high. Stack them flat, never on end.
- Keep piles and individual units clear of aisles, doorways, switch
boxes, fire extinguishers and other emergency equipment.
- Use trucks or dollies to discard skids and pallets, especially if
they load is to be moved any distance. Good planning is needed because
of dangers from poor piling, nails, splinters and fire hazards.
- Do not drop units. Doing so may cause damage, and the noise may also
startle other employees working in the area.
- Wear personal protective equipment as necessary. Hand, foot and back
injuries are the most common injuries caused by working with skids and
- Do not exceed floor capacity and crush strength when stacking. Allow
for lower resistance when working with paperboard--it is more easily
damaged than wood and may absorb moisture.
- If lifting is done manually, two people should lift a skid or pallet
in unison to distribute the weight and bulk.
- Avoid walking or stepping over skids and pallets.
- Where separate skid runners and platforms are used, stack platforms
flat in a rack no more than 32 inches high.