When it comes to inventory management, few tools play as key a role as a good pallet jack. These handy tools allow workers to easily lift and move pallets weighing up to several thousand pounds in weight. Better yet, being self-propelled, pallet jacks are a much safer way of moving merchandise than forklifts.
Yet pallet jacks can be dangerous if wielded incorrectly. For this reason, promote safe pallet jack use among your workers with these three tips.
1. Push, Don't Pull
The greatest feature of a pallet jack is that it allows you to move enormous weights with relative ease. Of course, it takes muscle to get a fully loaded pallet jacket moving - and to keep it moving. Once a pallet jack is in motion, the act of stopping it may be more difficult than you think, thanks to the significant momentum of all that weight.
Pushing is the best way to both start and stop a pallet jack. For one thing, human beings are capable of pushing almost four times more weight than they can pull. This makes it easier to get even the heaviest pallet jacket moving. Pushing also makes it easier to steer a pallet jacket.
Those who move pallet jacks by pulling put themselves at greater risk of injury. The pallet jack can run into the worker in the event that they need to stop quickly. For these reasons, insist that workers resist the temptation to pull a pallet jack. Pushing will make the job easier - and safer - for everyone.
2. Know Your Weight Capacity
Every pallet jacket possesses a weight capacity. This number, which ought to be clearly labeled on the jack, tells you the maximum amount of weight the pallet jack can bear. Exceeding this number puts your pallet jack at risk of damage. If the metal forks of your pallet jack are deformed under the excessive weight, the cargo could be at risk of tipping over.
As you can imagine, this is a highly dangerous scenario for the person operating the pallet jack - as well as for any other workers in the area. Therefore, be sure that all of your workers understand and observe the weight capacity of the pallet jacks in your warehouse.
3. Inspect Your Pallet Jacks Regularly
Even if weight capacities remain within acceptable limits, a pallet jack may suffer damage as time goes on. Therefore, you must be proactive about inspecting your jack for signs of trouble. In this way, you may be able to forestall dangerous accidents in your workplace.
Begin by inspecting the forks themselves. Use a level to ensure that both of them remain level. A strict 90-degree angle should be kept between the forks and the upright portion of the pallet bed. Measure the width of the gap between the two forks. This value should remain consistent along the forks' entire length.
Next carefully check the pallet jack for any signs of rust or corrosion. The bottom side of the forks is the most important place to check. Even when wielded properly, pallet jacks often scrape or bang against concrete floors. Excessive corrosion will weaken the forks, making them more susceptible to collapsing under heavy loads.
A pallet jack is one of the most useful tools you can own when it comes to moving merchandise. Be sure your workers possess a thorough understanding of pallet jack safety before your employees use these tools. For more information, please don't hesitate to contact the pallet jack sales experts at Naveles Industrial Sales. We supply pallet jacks and are knowledgeable about using these tools safely.