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Pallets- a H&S headache?

Are Pallets causing you a Health & Safety Headache?

Keeping a good stock of pallets on site can be crucial to many businesses- after all a warehouse without pallets means a warehouse at a standstill. Keeping a good stock is going to become even more necessary as we head towards the traditional “pallet shortage” time of year.

However this can cause you a H&S headache- but it doesn’t need to: have you risk assessed your pallet storage area? If you haven’t done it yet here are a few tips to get you started:

– The obvious risk is a fire risk- make sure you have good fire breaks between groups of stacks. The fire service offer clear guidance as to how big your groups of pallet stacks can be. They should be kept in a secure area to minimise the risk of arson.
– Ensure you are working with a reputable pallet company when it comes to clearing your scrap pallets. A good one will be honest about what value your pallets have, advise you as to which ones need to be in a skip and turn up when you need them to.
– Are the stacks stable? A falling pallet can cause serious (or fatal) injury. You could introduce guidance to your staff as to how to store them in stable stacks- larger pallets are at the bottom of the stack and broken ones are stored separately. Any unstable-looking stacks should reported immediately and before handling. Safety boots are a must.
– Are your staff given guidance on handling the pallets? If they have to lift them by hand consider the manual handling element of the job (you will need a separate Manual Handling Risk Assessment) – what can be done to make it easier? Gloves are a must, as is a visual inspection of each pallet before handling- even well-repaired pallets can have the odd mail sticking out
– If the pallets are handled using a Fork Lift Truck are only suitably trained staff allowed to do so?
– Pallet Stores can be high traffic areas- have you included Traffic on Site in your Risk Assessment? How can you keep pedestrians out of the area as much as possible?
Obviously this isn’t exhaustive- you’re welcome to call us if you think we can assist any more. Call us on 0161 223 4427 if you need any no obligation advice on the pallets that your company buys and

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