Once upon a time when something large and heavy had to be moved from one side of a warehouse to another, someone (and sometimes multiple someones) picked it up and carried it. But then technology progressed and delivered the pallet jack to the belabored warehouse worker. A pallet jack is an amazing yet simple machine that allows one person to quickly and easily move a whole load of stuff. They can be manual or electric, but they always consist of two forks which can be slid under a pallet and used to lift it enough to move it across the floor. While they are simpler to operate than a forklift, it is important that employees know how to safely use the pallet jack before operating one.
Before using any heavy machine the user needs to inspect it and this goes for the pallet jack as well. Make sure that everything is working including the tiller, the scale (if it has one), and the wheels. Look for any cracks or other signs of damage. Next, inspect the route you plan to take when moving the pallet. Look for hazards such as things blocking aisles, slick spots or spills, ramps, and tight corners. Finally, inspect the load. Make sure that the pallet you’re moving is not too heavy, tall, or uneven for your pallet jack.
Using The Jack
When you’re using the pallet jack to rearrange things in the warehouse, it is important to follow the safety standards for the equipment. For instance, you should always make sure that the pallet is evenly loaded before moving it with a jack. You should always push with the jack; never pull as this could cause muscle strain and plus, walking backward is more dangerous. Gently push the jack to get it started, don’t shove it, and go slowly as you move the pallet. Wear gloves to protect your hands and avoid any pinch points. Never put any hands or feet beneath the pallet on the jack. Finally, never stand on the jack and don’t “ride” it as you’re using it to move the pallet. When you’re done with the pallet jack inspect it for any new damage and return it to the dry storage area where it belongs. Always leave the handle locked when you’re done.
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