Whether you are in a warehouse, distribution center, or other manufacturing facility, it is inevitable that you will have pallets for material handling or storing equipment. Although they are generally user-friendly and simple, improper stacking of materials can bring troubles and unforeseen accidents. These might include worker injuries, product damages or property destruction. There are some simple rules that should be followed while stacking pallets. These are also imperative in order for your company to be in compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), although this is not a complete list.
Pallet Stacking: A Quick Guide
Stacking pallets properly not only saves space, but also helps eliminate tripping and collision hazards. It helps with organization efficiency as it can also help categorize your goods, By organizing effectively, you in turn ease the material storage and transportation activities.
Stacking pallets carelessly or overly high can lead to collapse, causing injuries or death to those in their vicinity. Here are several measures that can enhance safety and efficiency when it comes to stacking pallets.
- Ensure that the pallets are durable enough to carry the loads required. It is also important the the pallets are undamaged.
- Never stack products with sharp corners or edges on pallets in a way that they could injure people coming near them.
- Tie any boxed items securely. This can be done with cross-ties or shrink plastic fiber.
- Metal pallets should be stored in a clean place and have no protruding nails, holes, splinters, or loose boards.
- Position your pallets securely to avoid collapse or sliding when stacking goods on it.
- Avoid keeping stacked pallets in high traffic areas.
- You can stack pallets up to 15 feet high, however, regulations vary based on the type of goods you store on them.
- Always staack product on both sides of the pallet. Even distribution is critical for material handling and safety.
- If you must stack different products, always stack similar items with uniform size and shape together.
- Never overstack a pallet, even if it seems as though there is still room for stacking at its rated capacity.
- Always stack the heaviest load at the bottom of the pallet.
- Maintain sufficient clearance around stacks. This ensures safe handling and easy access.
- Provide ergonomics training and task-specific training to assure proper stacking, and utilize a pallet dispenser if available.
- Never stack goods where they obstruct lighting, electrical panels, or ventilation.
- It is not advisable to manually lift heavily stacked pallets per OSHA regulations, instead use a forklift or automated pallet dispenser for lifting.
There are more safety practices that have been formulated by OSHA and following these practices, as basic as they are, help prevent damage to life and property.
If you are interested in learning more about saving your company time and money through safer pallet procedures, please contact Yarbrough Industries today.