How To Safely Work With Pallets

How To Safely Work With Pallets

Pallets are used worldwide and are one of the most important tools. However, they can be dangerous if you do not handle them safely. Pallets that are used in supply chain operations can lead to punctured wounds, sprained ankles, broken toes, or more severe life-threatening injuries. If pallets are used for purposes such as a man lift, the results could be tragic. With over billions of pallets circulating in the United States, warehouse employees should take precautionary steps to avoid injury.

Never Man Lift Pallets

Pallets should never be handled by a man lift. Only use approved engineering platforms like a forklift after having enough training and receiving a certificate. Pallets may be designed to hold 2,800 pounds or more so these heavy loads should be used by a machine not by a man lift.

Make Sure Employees Are Properly Trained

Monitor the worker’s performance to ensure that workers are using safety guidelines and not taking shortcuts.

Furthermore, proper training for handling powerful tools should be implemented to prevent untrained employees from injuring themselves or others and possibly damaging the mechanical equipment.

Never Leave Pallets Standing

Empty pallets standing on end are unstable and cause injury to your foot or leg if they tip over.

Wear Protective Clothing

Always wear gloves when handling pallets and protective shoes so that a pallet does not fall and injure your foot or get splinters from not wearing gloves. Be sure to always wear personal protective equipment to prevent common injuries such as hand, foot, and back injuries.

Some facilities authorize a soft landing for pallets that are placed on the floor to avoid the noise from damaging the employee’s ears. DO NOT drop or bang pallets.

Do Not Use Damaged Pallets

If pallets are damaged or not appropriate for the job, they should be immediately removed from the workplace. Set aside damaged or substandard pallets for use in repair or recycling. If damaged or substandard pallets end up being used, they could cause serious injuries especially when placed on a high shelf with a heavy load.

Furthermore, inspect the pallets for any defects such as loose nails, splinters, or cracks. Discard or put damaged pallets aside for recycling or repair.

Always Clean Up Debris From Pallets

Broken or damaged pallets can cause slip and fall hazards and instability for handling material equipment. Debris in pallets can cause damage to the wheels of equipment. Always keep the warehouse clean to prevent dangerous accidents from happening.

Be Extremely Cautious When Standing On Pallets

Warehouse workers standing on a pallet could be injured if the deck board breaks or if the worker’s foot gets caught between the deck boards. Depending on the design of the pallets, some nine leg design pallets may be prone to tipping over when empty.

Use a Pick Hook

To avoid getting injured while stepping on a pallet, use a pick hook to reach the back of a pallet. This tool prevents a pallet from tipping over from a weight imbalance.

Be Careful When Stepping in Between Pallets

Some warehouses store their pallets side by side in storage racks so workers may step between or on pallets when accessing pallets. If the workers are not careful they can potentially get injured on the knees or ankles if they lose balance while stepping between pallets.

Manage The Risk When Manually Lifting Pallets

Pallets vary greatly in weight and size. Lightweight pallets can be lifted by one employee but heavier pallets are more common in the workplace and can be a hazard if they are not lifted safely.

If the warehouse does not have a forklift employees should be encouraged to work together and lift the pallet to prevent an injury from occurring.

Also, make sure that pallets are loaded with even weight distribution and do not exceed the maximum weight capacity when loading or stacking manually.

Don’t Stack Pallets Too High

The workers should not stack the pallets too high if they are stacking or unstacking pallets manually. Pallets should be stacked by a maximum of 4 feet to make handling a pallet easier and avoid potential injuries.

Also, have a forklift separate full stacks of pallets in half. Moreover, ensure the pallets are stacked flat and in stable piles when not in use.

Make Sure That Pallets Slide Freely

Ensure that pallets slide freely when tipping the pallet slightly to make sure that the pallet does not get snagged on a protruding nail.

It is better to have a co-worker assist you when manually moving a wood pallet off a stack.

Use Mechanized Equipment When Available

Forklifts and automated pallet dispensers are powerful tools of equipment designed to handle the weight of pallets with ease. It is better to use these powerful tools of equipment to avoid the risk of injury.

Be Cautious When Lifting a Pallet

When you lift a pallet, keep it vertical and close to your torso to maintain a close center of balance. DO NOT hold a pallet out from your body, you could end up getting injured.

Handle With Care When Entering The Facility With Pallets

When using a power jack to enter with pallets, make sure the stability of a load of merchandise by entering squarely. Be aware that when entering you may be pushing the pallet forward and potentially into another worker. Some facilities, however, implement a warning honk to alert other workers before entering with a new load of pallets.

Do not leave pallets on areas that need to be accessed, such as doorways, emergency exits, fire extinguishers, switch boxes, and emergency equipment.

Conclusion

Handling pallets is a daily task in many warehouses. Additionally, working with pallets can present hazards to workers and people that handle pallets daily. Workers can potentially suffer from cuts, abrasions, and other injuries from damaged pallets. Moreover, workers can also suffer injuries from broken pallets, and dropping pallets can cause potential damage to the equipment and workers.

Safely handling pallets in workplaces ensure a safe environment. Whether you’re the owner of the workplace, an employee, or someone that uses pallets regularly, you should ensure safety procedures are implemented and taught.

How to Dismantle Wooden Pallets

How To Dismantle a Pallet

If you just got ahold of free or cheap pallets and you have no idea how to dismantle it, this article will help you get started. This article was put together by the wonderful staff at Pasadena Skid and Pallet, a Houston pallets manufacturer.

You want to prevent splitting and breaking of your pallets. Dismantling a wooden pallet takes patience and effort, it’s not as simple is it looks.

I will show you five simple methods to dismantle a pallet.

The Brick Chisel & Hammer

To start, you will need to remove the nails using the hammer and the brick chisel.

Put the brick chisel between the planks and rafters, or the dice of the blocks, then hit it with the hammer.

Remember, do not hit too hard since this could cause the wood planks to break. Instead, hit gently and repeat this several times until the nail breaks.

The Claw Bar

Use this method to remove the dice on the pallets.

With the hammer, tap on the dices to slightly loosen them up.

In order to avoid damaging the pallet, use a tapping block between the dice and the hammer.

Place the hammer between the cross and the dice, and then hit.

Repeat this using the claw bar.

The Sawzall or Reciprocating Saw

This method is one of the fastest if you have a ton of pallets to dismantle.

To make this process easier, you can use a plank to set your pallets in between so that it stays in place or you can place your pallets on top of a wooden table. Clamp your pallet in place so that it doesn’t move around.

Grab your sawzall or reciprocating saw and slice through the nails on each end of the pallet. Start at the edges and then work your way towards the middle.

The Pallet Buster

This tool is very effective and efficient. It is a two way tool designed to use in 4 way pallets or 2 way pallets.

Grab your pallet buster or pallet dismantling bar and place between the deck boards.

Using the handle, push the pallet buster down towards you, the pallets should come apart easily.

The Two Technique: Using The Chisel & Reciprocating Saw

Place the chisel in between the deck board, then grab the hammer and hit softly to loosen up the gabs. This will make the reciprocating saw easier to cut in between the deck boards.

Grab your reciprocating saw and slice through the nails. You can also use a crowbar or pry bar.

Place the crowbar or pry bar between the stretcher to pry between the pallets using the hammer.

Break Down A Pallet In No Time

Break Down A Pallet In No Time

Pallets can be used for so many different crafts. From the construction to the wood, there is limitless potential when it comes to these items. Of course, you might not want to use the pallets for anything in particular. Maybe you just want to break it down and ditch the large stack of wood you have collecting. Whatever your reasoning or what you want to do with it in the end, it is possible to break down the pallet in no time.

First of all, if you are planning on using the pallet for crafts, make sure to select the cleanest one. If there is one with cleaner, newer looking wood, that is the one to go with. It means it has sustained less water damage with reduced stress placed on it.

Next, grab a reciprocating saw. This is a handheld power tool with an extended saw blade a few inches long. Make sure you have a blade designed to cut not only wood, but metal. You’ll be cutting through nails, so it needs to have some resistance qualities to it. Once you have the saw, set the pallet up so it is standing straight up. Now, position your saw between the planks and the body of the pallet. Cut through the nails while following the gab between the wood until you have removed all of the planks. The sides will fall away easily once you’ve cut through the nails. This just leaves the center piece of wood.

Cut the nails you can reach with the blade, then switch to your crowbar and hammer. Slide the crowbar under the planks you are unable to saw through the nails with. Hammer the crowbar under the plank and lift. This should pop the wood off. Repeat this with the rest of the planks.