Warehouse Accidents: Pallet Maintenance & Safety

Pallet Maintenance & Safety
Preventing Common Warehouse Accidents > Pallet Maintenance & Safety

In this series of blogs, we’ve covered the main causes of warehouse accidents and how to prevent them. We’ve already gone into detail regarding forklift accidents, preventing slips and falls, and how to stop items from falling from the shelves. In this final installment, we’re going to cover pallet safety and how to properly maintain and utilize them to prevent accidents in your warehouse. Here’s how to ensure the pallets are loaded and placed safely within your operation and minimize Orlando Workers’ Compensation Insurance claims.

Allow plenty of lateral space to accommodate forklifts.

If your pallets are too close together, it’s harder to access them with a forklift. This increases the likelihood that a driver will make a mistake and bump an adjacent pallet, sending it to the floor. The industry standard is that your beam width (side-to-side) should be greater than your maximum total load width plus 12″. In a scenario of two pallets with a maximum width (including their loads) of 42″ each, you’d need a beam of at least 96″ wide (2 x 46 = 84″ + 12″ = 96″). That provides 3″ on each side and 6″ between the pallets. Don’t skimp on that extra lateral space. It helps prevent your drivers from knocking a load, a pallet, or even an entire rack down, says Cisco Eagle.

Allow vertical space, too.

Fire code and industry regulations require at least 10 inches of space between pallet stacks. Regardless of how much inventory you receive, you must keep the spacing at least 10 inches wide.

Toss old pallets.

Pallets that are worn and ratty should be tossed. Otherwise, you run the risk of your load collapsing and falling, causing severe injury.

Store the heaviest items on the bottom.

This should go without saying, but bulky and heavy items need to be stored on the bottom racks or on the floor level. Lighter items can be stored higher up to prevent toppling.

Load the pallets evenly.

Many racks have wire deck or pallet supports that help them take nonstandard or undersized pallets. This is helpful, but if you misapply the load, loads can fall. The center of gravity for your pallets should not be focused on the front part of the beam level, as this pulls the rack forward, says the article.

Be sure to place the heaviest items in the middle of the pallet to ensure it doesn’t sway one way or the other when being transported by the forklift.

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