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Mistakes To Avoid When Handling Plastic Pallets

07 Jul 2017

Handling plastic pallets

If your business has invested in new or used plastic pallets, the last thing you want is to damage them or the load that they’re carrying. So follow these simple steps to keep your pallets intact, your loads undamaged, and your staff working safely.

Fork Alignment and Positioning

Firstly, the load needs to be correctly positioned on the forklift. If it’s placed too low and the vehicle sets off across a yard which has uneven ground, it’s likely that both load and pallet will strike the ground with damage to both as a result. The load and pallet can also be grounded going up or down a ramp or across a threshold.

Turning accuracy is important when moving new or used plastic pallets. If the forks aren’t clear of the pallet and the forklift driver starts turning, the load can shift and the pallet can be damaged or even fall out of the rack.

On the other hand, if the forks aren’t aligned horizontally when pallets are being unloaded, placed in racking and loaded, they can damage the pallets, weakening the pallet structure and ultimately making them unusable.

The fork length needs to match the size of the loads being carried. If the load is perched at the end of long forks, it can overturn, and both load and pallets will be damaged. The gap between the forks is also important for the stability of the load and should be approximately 60% of the width measurement of the pallet.

Safe Plastic Pallet Handling

The best practices for handling plastic pallets safely to prevent damage is usually the best practice for keeping staff members or employees safe as well. So it’s important that pallets aren’t left lying about the warehouse or yard. They’re a hazard for staff, who can drive into them or trip over them. Slips, trips and falls are a major cause of accidents that can harm staff, as well as cause a loss of working days, so take every care to ensure they don’t happen.

Similarly, manual sliding or throwing of pallets is unnecessary and dangerous and will ultimately damage the pallets. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) cite bad handling techniques as one of the causes of accidents in warehouses. Moving pallets with clear intent using the correct tools can ensure that work can be accomplished with the minimal risk of accidents or destruction of goods and pallets.

Other handling problems include the use of smaller Euro pallets mixed with larger UK pallets in the racks. This can cause problems such as the smaller pallet falling out of the rack beams or being pushed out by a larger pallet. It’s integral always to separate larger and smaller pallets from each other in the racks to prevent accidents or breaking the pallets.

The HSE also notes that continuing to use a damaged pallet is a cause of accidents. If new pallets are too expensive, consider buying used ones, which allow you to replace damaged ones at a much lower cost.

Plastic Pallet Loading Problems

When a pallet is placed on an even surface, the static load is the total weight the pallet can bear. If there are pallets stacked on top, the static load of the bottom pallet is the combined weight of its own load plus everything above it. Ignoring this will lead to damage to the lower pallets because they will be carrying more weight than they can bear without distortion or collapse.

Used plastic pallets will last a long time if properly handled and moved, so it’s worth teaching operators good-practice techniques to protect the firm’s investment.

Storing Correctly

When plastic pallets are finished being handled, they must be stored somewhere correctly. Many pallets can be stacked, making them easy to contain in a smaller area within a warehouse. However, the stack should not reach too high in order to reduce the risk of tipping, which can cause harm or destruction to the pallets. Unlike wooden pallets, plastic pallets won’t absorb moisture from wet environments, but they should still be kept dry so that they can be moved safely without the increased chance of slipping during handling. Plus, wet pallets are less hygienic for moving more sensitive goods.

Plastic Pallet Prices

Plastic Pallets can provide all your pallet needs. We have a broad range of products suitable for all kinds of customers. No matter what type of pallet you need, we’re sure to have something for you. It’s easy to purchase your plastic pallets in just a few clicks with our simple checkout system. Or, for larger orders, you can get a free quote with the quoting tool on our website. Call us today on 03301 757766, or fill out our online contact form with your details, and we’ll contact you back as soon as possible.

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