Top 6 Pallet Jack Safety Tips

Pallet jacks are some of the most popular items we sell her at WR Hardware, mainly because of their versatility and affordability. Businesses from all different industries use pallet jacks in their day to day operations, and a single machine can provide years of use with minimal maintenance. If you’re looking to get one of these machines in the near future, follow these pallet jack safety tips to ensure your success from the start.


Get Familiar with Your Pallet Jack

Even if you have used a pallet jack before, it’s important to get familiar with the specific machine you are working with. Know the pallet jack’s load position, lower position, raise position, neutral position, and basic movement operations. It would also be a good idea to get familiar with how far the forks extend and how wide the turn radius is for the pallet jack so you can maneuver through the building better.

Know Your Environment

Knowing your environment is just as important as knowing your machine. Take an assessment of ramps, tight corners, narrow aisles or protruding shelves that may make it difficult for you to get around with the pallet jack. Identify the location of safety mirrors near corners so you can be even more aware of your surroundings as needed. If certain areas of the building prove too difficult to get around, you may want to look for alternative roots to improve efficiency.

Pallet Jack Safety Tips – Avoid Wet Floors

Wet floors are incredibly dangerous for pallet jacks. Instead of rolling over the wet floor and hoping for the best, you should wait for the area to dry. Most companies have safety protocol in place that prevent the operation of pallet jacks on wet floors. If you see someone cleaning up a mess in the area, make a mental note of that so you do not pass over it with a pallet jack any time soon.

Learn the Proper Way to Handle Wood Pallets

Most pallets are made of wood, and they require slightly different handling than plastic crates, cardboard boxes, etc. You should always wear gloves when working with wood pallet. Understand the carrying capacity of the pallets you’re working with so you do not overload them. Do not stand on wood pallets, especially if they are on the pallet jack. Store empty wood pallets outside, and cover them with a tarp to protect them from rain. Inside, they can be a fire hazard.

Look for Signs of Wear and Tear

Over time, pallet jacks can wear down just like any other machine. Sometimes they can be repaired, and other times they need to be replaced. No matter what the situation may be, you should have a worn pallet jack inspected before continuing to use it. Look for flat spots on the wheels or issues with the hydraulic unit as those are some of the most common damages.

Pallet Jack Safety Tips – Never Pull, Only Push

When operating a pallet jack, make sure you push the machine around. Don’t try to pull it. This will cause major strain on your shoulders and could tear your rotator cuff. Use slow, steady movements when handling the pallet jack, and do not load more than it is designed to handle (in terms of weight and size). As long as you abide by these pallet jack safety tips and others listed in your owner’s manual, you should be able to enjoy years of great use with your pallet jack.