Written by Stacey Akins, Director of Safety
Anywhere there is a pallet of product, you can bet there is some type of pallet jack in the area. Many of our Dot Transportation, Inc. (DTI) drivers utilize a variety of pallet jacks in their travels to our customers across the nation.
Each time a pallet jack is used, there are some safety risks that we must take into consideration. Whether you are operating an electric jack, battery-powered jack, or manual jack, hazard awareness and safe operating procedures are critical to reducing your risk of injury.
Here are some of the safety concerns drivers need to be aware of when operating a pallet jack:
- Dropping the load on his/her feet
- Strain to the shoulders, neck, and back from using forceful movement to pull the pallet jack
- Trip hazards from exposed pallet jack forks
- Pedestrian struck by hazards due to poor visibility when using the jack.
In order to reduce your risk of injury while using a pallet jack, follow these safety best practices:
- Do not use a manual pallet jack, unless that is the only option available.
- Report damaged or worn pallet jacks immediately.
- Never overload the pallet jack load capacity.
- Push the pallet jack when you have a clear line of visibility.
- When pulling a pallet jack, main a neutral positioning, utilize your legs, keep shoulders down and relaxed and do not jerk on the pallet jack.
- Start the pallet jack slowly, allow yourself room to maneuver and stop the jack.
- Never brace or stop a pallet jack with your foot. Keep your feet out from underneath the load.
- When a pallet jack is not in use, move the pallet jack out of pedestrian traffic areas. This will reduce the risk of tripping over the forks of the equipment.
After using a pallet jack, engage in some stretching exercises to reduce your risk of muscle soreness. Hold each of the below stretches for 30 seconds. Need more stretches? Contact your occupational health trainer or download the Occupational Health SharePoint app for more ideas.
Safety, Always on Our Mind!
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