According to the Texas Department of Insurance, improper lifting practices are among the leading cause of injuries to workers. Following proper procedures and safety measures for stacking empty pallets can reduce workplace injuries.
First, inspect the pallets for splinters, damage, loose nails and other defects. Protect hands and feet by wearing leather gloves and safety shoes. Set aside unsafe pallets and tag for repair or disposal. To lift skids, two people of similar height must lift together to avoid injuries. Straighten the back, bend at the knees and use the leg muscles to lift. Remain close to the pallet while lifting.
Skids and pallets must be stable to prevent them from falling. Stack pallets no higher than four feet high and always stack them flat. Do not stack pallets on end. Do not stack more than 32 units in one rack when stacking pallets, using separate platforms and skid runners. Removing platforms from the rack takes two people, positioned on either side of the rack.
Stack pallets away from doorways, exits and fire extinguishers. Avoid stacking pallets in, or too close to, aisles or heavy traffic areas. Injuries occur when workers trip, have to step over or around empty pallets. Maintain a clean work area, free of clutter and debris.