Pallet Truck: How To Use Efficiently And Safely
When utilising a pallet truck to undertake a task such as moving heavy loads or pallets, it is important to be fully competent in their use. The first question which usually arises when selecting pallet trucks is whether a manual or powered version is required. A manual pallet truck is the basic version, however a powered one is motorised and powered by a throttle in the operating handle. If you will be transporting heavy loads or piles of pallets, a motorised pallet truck is advisable.
You are not legally required to hold any legislation or a licence for the operation of a powered pallet truck; despite this it is imperative that your entire workforce is provided with the relevant training, to reduce the chance of accidents and damage to both employees and goods. Although certification is not necessary, companies are increasingly opting to provide certification to their workforce in order to prove their workforce members are fully competent pallet truck operators. If your workforce is not provided with fully comprehensive training for this equipment then your company is liable for any damage to goods and injuries within the workforce.
Training your workforce to use powered pallet trucks should include: a brief overview of the workings of powered pallet trucks with examples, theory and video, an introduction to the safety code for the operator, responsibility under the HSE Act 1974, information on battery changing, truck stability, motive and hydraulic controls.
All pallet trucks should be checked regularly and these checks should be documented before use. After your workforce has been trained, the individual employee will need to pass several tests, including a theoretical test, pre-use checks and finally a practical test. Although this is not essential, it will ensure that your workforce is fully proficient in the use of pallet trucks, and are able to work independently without supervision. If for any reason members of your workforce fail to pass these tests, let them re-try until they do.
Working with manual pallet trucks is a far simpler affair; the operator simply pushes the trucks forks into the pallet, and then uses the jack mechanism to lift the pallet to a specific height.
Operating and using pallet trucks within your workforce should be a simple and problem free affair. Ensuring that your workforce is fully trained and competent in the use of both manual and powered options should dramatically lower the risk of accidents.