Operating a pallet jack without protective gear and proper training is dangerous. This should be obvious, yet, some employers let untrained workers use this equipment. Knowing pallet jack safety tips could help avert injuries or even death.
In 2016, private industry employers reported 2.9 million nonfatal workplace injuries. This shows the danger warehouse and industrial workers face every day. Examples of problems include:
- Getting hit by falling objects
- Being crushed by objects
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
As simple as a pallet jack is, improper use can lead to sprains, fractures, punctures, lacerations, and pain. But you can do something about it. Read on to learn various safety tips when using a pallet jack.
Pallet Jack Safety Tips
Having workers who don’t know how to operate a pallet jack endangers them, their co-workers, and your business. They may cause injury to themselves or to others. Moreover, your business can be subject to a lawsuit due to those injuries.
When using a manual pallet jack, you need to consider the weight, pulling force, alignment, and loading techniques. Otherwise, you could end up with an occupational injury.
There are 4 pallet jack safety tips you can apply today:
1. Wear Protective Gear
There is no excuse for not wearing protective gear when working in an industrial or manufacturing facility. This gear will guard against or reduce the impact of accidents.
Safety vests or have reflective tape on their clothes is always a good idea, as well as wearing gloves, safety masks, hard hats, back belts, and boots. Earplugs, aprons, jackets, safety harnesses, and dust masks are also a good idea in certain circumstances. These will guard against or reduce the impact of accidents.
2. Consider the Maximum Load Capacity
One mistake inexperienced operators make is to cram many things on the pallet jack. They may believe it will help them finish the work faster. However, this is very dangerous.
It will be difficult to transport the contents safely when you overload the pallet jack. The goods may shift position, topple over, and fall on your co-workers. They could also fall on your feet and hurt you.
An overloaded pallet jack may block your view leading to collisions. Or, you might end up at a ramp and fail to realize because you can’t see ahead. This poses a risk to other workers.
This extra weight will lead to overexertion of muscles, sprains, and aches.
3. Use the Right Lifting Form
Many work injuries occur due to poor posture and form.
Untrained operators won’t know how to lift, load, and move goods around. Bending and lifting using poor form causes abdominal and vertebral disk hernias, muscle strains, and ligament sprains. You might also irritate your joints when lifting objects using the wrong technique.
4. Be Wary of Foot Placement
The last pallet jack safety tip is to be careful how you position your feet. Proper foot placement gives you balance and strength.
Never put your feet under any machines. The same applies when loading or unloading goods.
Learn More About Pallet Jacks
Taking risks when operating a pallet jack won’t end well for the employee. The safety tips above will help in limiting the exposure to many workplace dangers. Make sure you inspect the pallet jack before use to confirm it is in good condition.
Contact us to learn more about pallet jacks.