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Pallet jack safety talk

Pallet jack safety talk

Pallet jacks do not require a license to use; however, as with other material handling aids such as a forklift, they do have the ability to cause injury if used improperly or in an unsafe manner. Conversely, they can be very useful in limiting multiple trips or lifting of a heavy and large item being delivered or stocked. It can also reduce a multiple person job down to one operator.

There are several safety provisions to keep in mind when operating a pallet jack. These include:

  • Keep feet from going underneath machine
  • Know the capacity limits of the pallet jack and do not exceed
  • Always transport the load slowly
  • To avoid tipping the load, go in reverse when walking down an incline
  • Be familiar with any pinch points on the equipment to avoid hand injury

Before operating the pallet jack, prepare for safe use of the equipment by making certain:

  • The pallet jack is in proper working condition before use
  • Do not operate the pallet jack if the controls look damaged or are not working properly
  • Check the wheels before each use for damage or cracks which can cause issues while operating and increase instability in the load

Know the path to be taken with the pallet jack before beginning:

  • Ensure the route taken is free of obstruction such as boxes or protruding pallets
  • Also ensure there are no defects with the flooring that will interfere with safe transport of the load
  • If moving a large load is necessary, have another employee assist you with guidance

Only use and keep pallets that are in good condition:

  • All pallets used should be stored in a dry area
  • Any pallets with loose or deteriorated boards should be discarded
  • Take care when manually handling empty pallets as they can be large and awkward size; continue to practice proper lifting techniques and use lifting aids when possible


This article is provided solely as a reference tool to be used for information purposes only. The information in this article shall not be construed or interpreted as providing legal or any other advice. The information material does not amend the provisions of any insurance policy issued by CompSource Mutual. It is not a representation that coverage does or does not exist for any particular claim or loss under any such policy. Coverage depends on the facts and circumstances involved in the claim or loss, all applicable policy provisions, and any applicable law.

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