At Millwood, safety is integrated in every part of how we do business. Our mission that all who come in contact with our company would clearly see the love of Christ in all that we do starts with our team members, and their safety is our top priority. As National Safety Month comes to a close, we offer the following safety tips to help keep yourself and others safe when handling pallets in the workplace.
1. Inspect pallets thoroughly: Before using any pallet, ensure it's in a good state. Look for any visible signs of damage such as broken boards, protruding nails, or splintered wood. These defects can cause the pallet to fail during use, possibly leading to injuries or product damage. Check for spilled substances that can make the pallet slippery and difficult to handle.
2. Load pallets appropriately: Every pallet has a specific weight limit, and overloading can lead to structural failure. Distribute weight evenly and stay within the manufacturer's recommended weight capacity.
3. Lift properly: For manual lifting, follow ergonomic practices to reduce strain on your back, shoulders and knees. This generally includes bending at the knees (not the waist), keeping the load close to the body and avoiding twisting while lifting. If using a forklift, check out these five forklift-specific safety tips from Millwood.
4. Store pallets safely: When not in use, pallets should be stored in a designated area away from general traffic to prevent tripping hazards. Stacks of unused pallets should be kept at a reasonable height to prevent them from toppling. They should also be stored away from ignition sources and in an area with proper ventilation.
5. Use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Pallets can have sharp edges, nails or splinters that can cause injuries. Gloves can help protect your hands, while safety shoes can prevent foot injuries from dropped objects. Safety glasses can shield your eyes from flying debris when using power tools to repair pallets.