Pallet Safety – Things to Look for When Working With Pallets
February 13, 2019
Pallet safety is vital in the warehousing industry as there is always the risk of hazards for both employees and equipment.
Whether it’s working with empty pallets, pallet transport or pallets under loads, make sure you keep your workers safe by looking out for these things:
Make sure you always identify stamps and markings on pallets as they can give you important information regarding the quality. If pallets do not appear to have any stamps or markings, this means that it is a ‘national pallet’ and has most likely not been chemically treated.
You can recognise ‘international pallets’ with an IPPC (International Plant Protection Convention) stamp; the stamp includes the IPPC symbol on the left, and a 2-letter country code and a company registration number on the right side. Treatment codes are also on the left side of the stamp and inform you of what method of treatment the pallet has received:
- HT: Heat Treated – Heat treated wood is where it has been heated to the minimum core temperature in order to eliminate parasites and insects.
- MB: Methyl Bromide – Some international pallets have to use a powerful, toxic pesticide to eliminate parasites and insects; do not burn these pallets on a fire.
- DB: Debarked – Debarked wood is where the bark of the tree have been completely removed from the pallet so heat treatments can be applied.
- KD: Kiln Dried – Kiln dried wood is where it has been heated in a kiln which eliminates wood pests, as well as avoids warping and fungal growth.
Other stamps include: PRL (Verified by the Package Research Laboratory) and EPAL (Approved by the European Pallet Association).
Damaged pallets, such as ones that physically appear broken or present loose nails and splinters, can put your workers in danger. You should never lift, move or use damaged pallets for pallet transport as they will not only be inappropriate for the job, but could also inflict injuries to your team. If you’re not sure about the quality of a pallet, you should remove it from the workplace.
We pride ourselves on our pallet safety as handling pallets is a daily practice in our workplace. We always make sure we provide a safe working environment for our workers and protection for our machinery in our pallet transport services. If you would like any more information or are interested in our pallet distribution, contact us today.