Drum Handling Equipment: Improves Safety In The Workplace

Drum Handling Equipment Has Been Shown To Significantly Improve Workplace Safety

The process of manually transporting and decanting substances from drums is a physically exhausting and time consuming task for employees to carry out. Physically manoeuvring and manipulating these heavy and unwieldy drums, which often contain hazardous or toxic chemicals is a dangerous and inefficient process. Due to this drum handling equipment is increasingly becoming commonplace within working environments which frequently move and handle drums. The implementation of these items within a workforce has been shown to increase employee efficiency whilst also increasing workplace safety.

Implementing the correct piece of drum handling equipment into a workplace ensures that a task which would otherwise be cumbersome, dangerous and time consuming becomes quick, efficient and most importantly safe for the employees involved. Handling Equipment Online is committed to providing items of handling equipment which increase levels of efficiency and safety within the workplace. This commitment has manifested in a large range of drum handling implements which includes models to meet the specific requirements of any drum handling scenario.

Drum Handling Equipment Drum PortersIn drum transportation situations where no tipping or decanting is required, Handling Equipment Online has a wide range of options. These options include drum porters and drum overrides. For situations where tipping and decanting of the drum is required, Handling Equipment Online has a number of drum tippers and drum tipping lifters. These items enable recipients to safely and effectively decant and tip drum as and when is required. The range of drum handling equipment which is available from Handling Equipment Online also includes a number of forklift attachments.

Utilising drum handling equipment within a warehouse, factory or logistic centre setting has been consistently shown to reduce the number of accidents and incidents within the workforce related to stress induced injuries. These injuries frequently occur when workers attempt to manually move and manipulate heavy, cumbersome and dangerous drums on a frequent basis. However it is not only the safety of the employee which is greatly increased with the use of drum handling equipment, these items also improve the safety of the product itself. This is because when drum handling equipment is used there is a much lower chance of costly damage to the product due to improper manual handling.

Handling Equipment Online has an extensive selection of drum handling equipment in order to match the specific requirements of each client. For further information regarding this range, a member of Handling Equipment Online’s expert technical team can be contacted on 01384 895 859.


Forklift Truck Accidents – Handling Equipment Online News

How To Survive Forklift Truck Accidents

It may surprise you to learn that a large number of forklift truck accidents occur across the country on a very regular basis. The purpose of a seatbelt differs widely between a car and a forklift truck. In a car, a seatbelt is designed to protect and restrain the driver and passengers in the event of a high speed collision. This prevents the driver and passengers from colliding or impacting with the interior of the car. People often wonder why forklift trucks have seatbelts as they travel at a much slower pace.

Forklift Truck AccidentIt may seem strange therefore that seatbelts on forklift trucks are not designed to protect the driver in the event of a collision. Instead these seatbelts are designed to stop the driver from succumbing to the fatal urge to jump when a forklift truck overturns. In many cases the process where a forklift truck begins to topple or overturn begins slowly, due to this a number of drivers have in the past felt the urge to jump free. This can be a fatal exercise, this is because if an operator begins to slip in their seat or is tempted to jump free as the forklift begins to topple they run the risk of having being trapped or crushed between the truck’s overhead guard and the floor. The seatbelt in a forklift truck is designed to keep the driver in the relative safety of their seat in the cabin.

Unfortunately, it is becoming increasingly common for Coroner’s Inquests to detail more gruesome and more tragic accounts of how in forklift truck accidents, drivers make attempts to escape from the cabin as it begins to topple. These reports recount a common tale, often in these attempted escapes to save their lives the driver commonly dies. Due to this Handling Equipment Online has provided some tips in order to help your workforce from having any forklift truck accidents.

If the driver of a forklift truck is not wearing a seatbelt, or the truck does not have one, they can attempt to stay safe by following these three tips:

  1. Lean in the opposite direction to the one in which the truck is tipping.
  2. Grip the steering wheel firmly, alternatively grab hold of the handles, this measure will dramatically improve the drivers chances of staying in their seat.
  3. Push down directly onto their feet, doing this pushes the driver back into their seat.

In the unfortunate case of being involved in a forklift truck accident, if the driver keeps their nerve and remains in the cabin, securing themselves in place using the three above tips, the driver may be bruised. However there have been virtually no fatalities recorded for this type of accident. However it has been shown that no amount of training can prevent some drivers from attempting to jump free from the truck. Due to this the only safety precaution which seems to have been proven to be effective in this scenario is to wear a seatbelt.


Pallet Trucks In Cold Environments – Handling Equipment Online News

How To Use Pallet Trucks In Cold Environments

Pallet trucks are built to be both sturdy and reliable, delivering high levels of performance in the harsh conditions in which they are deployed. Despite this, standard models of pallet trucks have one major weakness. This weakness it that these pallet trucks perform at a lower level and deteriorate in colder storage conditions. When operating in pallet trucks in cold environments, many companies make use of several pallet trucks which are rotated. However this practice can actually compromise safety, equipment and also productivity.

Pallet Trucks In Cold EnvironmentsWhen rotating pallet trucks in cold environments, there are a number measures which companies can employ in order to minimize these risks. These measures begin with ensuring that the equipment which will be used in cold environments is equipped with additional security and protection features. “It is a common mistake for companies to neglect this step,” warned Jeff Bowles, who is product line manager for Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift America. He revealed that a large number of modern manufacturers of electric pallet trucks generally ensure that a high level of protection is provided for electrical components within the standard chassis. “However, not every standard chassis is designed to withstand the conditions within cold storage areas. Due to this, optional storage packages are available and should be purchased.” Bowles explained.

Furthermore, some alternative electrical components and attachments which perform well in ambient conditions may not perform well or be incompatible in cold conditions. Due to this it is imperative to ensure that expensive pallet truck and forklift truck equipment is not exposed to conditions which will shorten its life or reduce its effectiveness.

Once the chassis, the most important part of a pallet truck, has been correctly protected it is time to attend to the other components. These other components which will improve the trucks functionality in cold environments, include softer tyre compositions, lighter weight hydraulic oil and anti-slip/anti-skid technology. This technology supports traction and reduces the amount of wear on the trucks tyres.

Quite often in cold environments a narrow aisle system is employed. This is because this system enables for a larger amount of stock to be stored. However, as the amount of pallet trucks and related traffic within the storage facility increases manoeuvrability can become a major issue.

In cases where truck movement between cold areas and ambient areas cannot be avoided, it is best practice to first move from a freezer environment to a cooler environment before using the truck in an ambient environment. Utilising this method will dramatically reduce the potential for condensation and corrosion to appear and form on the trucks components.


Manually Lifting Heavy Objects Safely – Handling Equipment Online News

Manually Lifting Heavy Objects SafelyManually Lifting: How To Take Care When Lifting Heavy Objects

When manually lifting heavy objects, regardless of whether it is at home or at work, it is essential that it is done correctly in order to avoid serious injury or damage to the back. Once a person’s back has been injured they are far more susceptible to suffer from further back injuries and related problems in the future. Quite often back injuries occur when lifting, this is because people underestimate the weight of the object in question or the level of strain which it will place on the back. In order to avoid the occurrence of these accidents it is important to understand how to safely lift objects manually. In order to do this Handling Equipment Online has provided an instructional guide.

Observe the object:

Prior to lifting the object it is important to identify whether there are any grips or handles which can make a huge difference. In addition, it is important to notice how the object is positioned, whether it is at an angle, on the floor or table etc. Once the position of the object has been established then the objects movement once lifted can be better judged.

Get into position close to the object:

When manually lifting objects it is important to get as close to the object as possible. In addition, the feet should be shoulder width apart. When lifting the abdominal muscles should be tensed in order to provide a strong core.

Prior to lifting test the object:

Do not attempt to lift the object straight away. Instead it is important to test the weight of an object prior to lifting it. In order to do this lift two of the objects corners and allow it to tilt, this will provide an accurate feeling of the weight of the object.

A good stance is essential:

When lifting the object do not lean directly over the object or pick it up using only the back muscles. This is exactly how back related injuries occur when manually lifting heavy objects. A good stance involves squatting down with a straight back with feet kept close to the object at all times.

Lift slowly:

Once in the squatting position with a straight back, it is time to lift the object. The back should be kept straight, then using the leg muscles, instead of those in the back, slowly begin to stand up, whilst holding the heavy object which is being manually lifted. Be sure to stand up slowly, as lifting the object in one sharp jerk can also result in substantial injury.


Forklift Truck License: How Do You Apply For One?

Individuals often find themselves requiring a forklift truck license. This is often for one of two reasons, either to be eligible for a new job or alternatively in order to further an individual’s career and gain access to the next rung on the job ladder.

Forklift Truck LicenseThe first step in acquiring a forklift truck license is to find a training centre locally. In most cases a forklift truck training course typically lasts between 5 and 10 days. The duration of the course depends largely on the number of people in the class and the previous experience and ability of the individual. Forklift truck training courses can often be easily completed by individuals regardless of their previous experience, or lack of it. This is because forklift truck training courses often operate on a number of levels ranging from beginner to advanced ability.

During the course, individuals will be instructed in how to safely start, manoeuvre and drive a forklift truck. Once an individual has finished practising driving a forklift truck and learning the associated safety regulations, they are required to sit two examinations. One of the examinations is a written test, whilst the second examination is a practical test. The procedure is extremely similar to the one required to obtain a driving license.

During the practical aspect of the examination individuals have to prove that they are competent in performing equipment inspections, are able to safely manoeuvre the forklift truck in tight and restricted areas with and without loads and are able to load and unload the forklift truck to various heights. In order to pass the practical aspect of the examination an individual needs to successfully obtain at least 25 points.

Once an individual passes both aspects of the examination, they will be rewarded with a Certificate of Basic Training. This certificate means that the individual in question is fully qualified to drive a forklift truck, enabling them to then apply for the desired job or gain the prestigious promotion. Prior to booking a forklift truck training course it is essential to select a centre or institution which has the correct credentials and operates legitimately. Failure to do this could result in a forklift truck license or qualification which is invalid. Legitimate and recognised centres can be easily recognised by the RTITB logo and the ITSSAR logo, which should appear on the company’s website, course outline and associated literature.


Pallet Trucks: The Essential Piece Of Handling Equipment

Pallet Trucks – Why Are They So Good?

Pallet trucks, whether hand operated or electrically powered, are the ideal cost effective handling equipment solution. These items are specifically designed to make the lifting of heavy objects easier for an individual as these items are easily and effectively able to lift and move palletised loads of up to 5 tonnes or 5000KG.

Pallet TrucksThe operation of hand pallet trucks is usually provided by a steering lever, which is equipped with a release handle. Pumping the lever causes the trucks forks to rise, whilst simultaneously lifting the trucks load. Pulling the trucks release handle causes the load to slowly lower to the required level. Pallet trucks are specifically designed to be driven under a pallet, once a pallet has been lifted it can be easily manoeuvred to its required location. This can be achieved by hand as an operator is then able to push or pull the truck.

Due to their operating ability, pallet trucks are perfectly suited for use in the warehouse environment, where they can be used to manoeuvre pallets. Similarly, pallet trucks can be used to good effect to unload loads from trucks which make use of tail lifts.

Electric motorised pallet trucks on the other hand, can easily be operated using the electrical assisted travel and manoeuvring ability. Similar to the manual model, electric motorised pallet trucks are operated from a handle. Electric motorised pallet trucks are frequently used in order to transport heavier loads, or when projects are so mentally intensive that it is important to make things easier for workers and employees, in order to dramatically improve the levels of productivity within the warehouse environment or loading bay. Electric motorised pallet trucks are powered by a battery pack. These battery packs often have an incredibly long lifetime. It is a common practice with electric motorised pallet trucks make use of them during the day and then charge the battery pack overnight ready for use the following day.

If pallet trucks are left outside for extended periods of time they can begin to rust and corrode. In order to avoid this occurring there are a number of corrosion resistant galvanised pallet trucks. Alternatively, for companies who operate in the food industry and related services, there are a large number of stainless steel pallet trucks available. This is because food is often transported in bulk orders which can become too heavy for an individual to manually lift.

For more information about the pallet trucks available from Handling Equipment Online, please contact us on 01384 895859 or email us on sales@handlingequipmentonline.com.


Electric Pallet Trucks – Great To Reduce Your Workforce’s Exertion!

Electric Pallet Trucks

A recent study was conducted by independent researchers into the required effort to use a hand pallet truck. In this study researchers tested seventeen different brands of hand pallet truck in order to obtain results which formed an accurate average. Each brand was tested with a range of loads ranging from 500Kg to 2500Kg. Not only were the results conclusive, they were also shocking, proving the fact that electric pallet trucks are a great piece of equipment to increase productivity and reduce the effort required by your workforce.

In order to start a 500Kg load from a stationary position, requires on average an effort of 23.3Kg from the operator. When this load is increased to 2000Kg the required force increases to 49.6Kg, this figure is much greater than those specified as being safe in official guidelines. Additionally the results were equally shocking when it came to the required force to raise loads. In order for an individual operator to raise a forklift load of 2000Kg requires a considerable amount of exertion, the study revealed it took an average force of 35.1Kg, and again this is much higher than the official guidelines. Even the effort required for an operator to keep a 2000Kg load in motion, 30.7 Kg, exceeds the guidelines by a shocking 53.1%.

In order to alleviate this problem in your workforce without having to compromise on productivity you should consider making use of electric pallet trucks. Electric pallet trucks compensate for the operator by providing the majority of the effort required to move and lift these loads.

What should I look for when purchasing an electric pallet truck?

Electric Pallet TruckWhen you are looking to purchase electric pallet trucks there are a number of factors which you should consider. Primarily you should seek to purchase your electric pallet trucks from a reputable brand. When you purchase from a reputable brand not only is the quality of construction superior, but the dealer will also be able to provide you with insightful advice in the practical operation of your new trucks. This practical advice may include selecting the optimum type of tyres. This may seem trivial but can make a dramatic difference, to demonstrate softer tyre types are more effective on slippery surfaces but will wear far more quickly.

When selecting an electrical pallet truck, desirable features include:

  • Linked castor wheels: this provides the maximum levels of stability even with heavy loads and also when performing sharp turns.
  • A tiller arm which always returns to the upright position.
  • Performance modes which can be easily switched:  this enables operators to change modes instantly to one which best suits their driving ability and operating conditions.
  • A generous lifting height: this option can prove especially useful in docking areas, ramps and loading bays, especially when moving damaged pallets.
  • Heavy duty forks: these provide far greater levels of durability thus increasing the longevity of your truck.
  • A closed chassis: this prevents dirt and water from getting into the truck, which in turn results in fewer repairs and a longer working life.

Pallet Pal 3 – New To Handling Equipment Online

Introducing Pallet Pal 3

Pallet PalAt Handling Equipment Online we are proud to announce a new addition to our extensive product range. Our latest addition comes in the form of the Pallet Pal 3. This item is stocked in our range of work positioners. For ease of understanding, work positioners are items of handling equipment which enable employees to conduct work safely and effectively at an elevated height. Often these items are mounted on castors which provide a phenomenal level of mobility, enabling the unit to be easily moved to the area it is required.

Work positioners conventionally provide vertical lifting capability, although some models enable operators to perform horizontal lifting potential. These items can frequently be seen being used on building sites and within the warehouse setting.

The Pallet Pal 3 differs slightly from conventional work positioners, as this model is the only free automatic pallet leveller which is currently available in the handling equipment market. This ingenious self-levelling work positioner is equally effective when it is used as a lift table. Built in Britain, the Pallet Pal 3 has a maximum safe lift capacity of 2000Kg. This lifting ability is safely controlled throughout both the lifting and the lowering process through the use of a proven linkage which is used in conjunction with a specially designed shock absorber. Each individual unit comes in an aesthetically appeasing yet physical durable powder coating.

In addition to its ability to auto level, the Pallet Pal 3 comes with a fully fitted, low slewing ring.  The slewing ring allows for a pallet to be positioned on the surface in the safest and most appropriate position. This addition ensures that the operator is easily and effectively able to move, load and unload pallets onto the Pallet Pal 3 with the minimum level of manual exertion.

Pallet Pal 3In order for the Pallet Pal 3 to fulfil a wide variety of roles and functions in a number of work environments, fork packets are incorporated into the design. Additionally, a number of modification options are available enabling you to make slight changes, enabling you to adapt the unit to perform in your work environment, these changes will dramatically improve the functionality your Pallet Pal 3. Customisation options include levelling of feet, restrictive access bellows and Inox finishes.

For further information about the Pallet Pal 3 and its design specifications, you can contact a member of Handling Equipment Online’s expert technical team on 01384 895 859. Alternatively, you can email us at sales@handlingequipmentonline.com.


Forklift Safety Procedures: Training Prevents Tasks Building Up

Forklift Safety Procedures

Forklift operator training programs can often lead people to believe that they are effective.  This along with a suitable forklift safety procedure should maximise work output whilst ensuring your workforce is protected. However it is only when things start to go wrong that shortcomings in the training program are revealed. Recent industry observations have concluded that it does not have to be a challenging task to identify and quantify how prepared an operator is and their levels of productivity.

Forklift Safety ProcedureWayne Wilde, the field technical sales officer for UniCarriers identified that the first step should be to establish a policy and a suitable forklift safety procedure for both the use of equipment and also for the carrying of materials and loads. To demonstrate, what are the current policies for the handling of liquid loads compared with those for handling solid loads? Or what is your existing policy for using your electrical trucks outdoors?

Wilde stated “If a manager says someone is breaking the rules, he ought to be able to point to the rule in question. Often I ask about policies for materials handling and forklift operation and I get a ‘deer in the headlights’ look.” However developing new policies needn’t be a complete upheaval of previous practices. The Industrial Truck Standards Development Foundation (ITSDF) standard B56, is a free document which can be downloaded. The document contains a user section which outlines a number of correct operating practices. This document can be implemented into your training program as an additional supplement.

A key indicator that the current operator training program is lacking is damage caused to both the property and product. Wilde provides an explanation for this, “if your managers aren’t tracking that revenue loss, they should be. As business has picked up, the No. 1 concern is getting product out the door, and some of these losses are seen as simply a cost of doing business. But they are easily preventable and can also be traced to their origin.”

Wilde claims that the main way to notice and pick up on short comings to your existing training program is by creating a culture of accountability. Under this culture of accountability it is not only incidents which should be recorded, near-misses should also be reported and recorded by both operators and pedestrians nearby.

Unfortunately, bad habits can quickly emerge around aspects of operation as simple as replacing batteries. If an operator runs a battery to empty during a shift there is no doubt that replacing it will greatly interrupt the productivity of that shift.

Once an organisation has put policies and a standard agenda in place, it should then look at evaluating and reviewing these measures on a regular basis. Wilde suggests that after a year of using one procedure that you should embark on a thorough analysis of it in order to ensure that it is working as it should be. Wilde additionally recommends that customers make use of up-to-date resources from manufacturers and also provide both managers and employees with an input into the training and also the development of your policies.