Pallet safety: Frequently asked questions
Falling pallet stacks, incorrect carrying techniques, and unstable pallet racking have been the cause of many workplace incidents. But how do you utilise the best safety practices when it comes to pallets?
From pallet stacking and carrying techniques, to dimensions and specifications for shipping, discover the most frequently asked questions in pallet safety.
Plain Pallets offers a range of new pallets for use, all of which are backed up by a workmanship guarantee. Get in touch with the team to receive a quote, or find out more.
Frequently asked questions
At Plain Pallets, we take pallet safety seriously. If you follow Australian safety standards in your workplace, you can protect your employees from serious harm, and ensure processes run smoothly.
What is the proper way to stack pallets?
If stacked incorrectly, pallets are a safety hazard in the workplace. If you follow the below steps, you'll minimise the risk of workplace injuries.
- Stack according to specifications: Even though pallets are generally universal in size and dimensions, each type has minute differences according to the manufacturer. It's essential to stack your pallets according to size and material. Plastic pallets need to be stacked together, wood with wood.
- Stack pallets at the right height: In Australia, there are safety standards specifying how high pallets can be stacked according to the contents, and safety equipment which will be used to transport or move the stacks.
- Don't use damaged or defective pallets: Check second-hand pallets to make sure they are safe for reuse. Wood pallets which sag in the middle will spill contents, potentially harming those who stack them or anyone standing below.
- Pallets must be even and not overhang: By the time you've stacked and wrapped your pallets, they should align evenly, and sit squarely for easy transport.
How do you carry a pallet?
Pallets are bulky and often heavy items to carry. Ideally, you should always carry pallets with another person. But if you have to do it alone, make sure you use the correct technique so you don't strain your back.
- Stand the pallet: Stand at the corner of the pallet. Using a wide-legged stance, lift the pallet to a standing position. Use your free hand as a strut on your upper thigh to assist with the lift.
- Stacking the pallet: Once the pallet is upright, hold the pallet with two hands (still using a wide-legged stance) and lift onto the pallet stack.
- Pulling a pallet off a stack: Stand at the corner with a wide-legged stance, and use two hands to pull the pallet towards you and the ground. Make sure you are using your legs as the central force when moving the pallet, and guide it to the floor so it passes between your knees. This way, it keeps the load close and minimises the impact to your back.
How do you handle pallets?
When handling pallets, you want to ensure that you:
- Use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Use mechanised equipment if possible, such as forklifts and pallet jacks
- Ensure you use the right pallet racking
- Stack empty pallets below shoulder height
- Ask for help when moving empty pallets
- Inspect pallets before use
How high can pallets be loaded?
Australian standard pallets are most commonly used in Australian industries. The dimensions are 1,165mm by 1,165mm. However, there are three other main pallets used for shipping and exports.
- Australian export pallets: 1.1m by 1.1m
- US export pallets: 1.2m by 1m
- Euro export pallets: 1.2m by 0.8m
Find out more about pallet sizes and dimensions.
What is the maximum size pallet for air cargo?
When submitting a request for air shipment, you need to specify the height of your pallet stacks. Check out our plant and height chart below:
Type of plane
How much weight can a euro pallet take?
Euro export pallets can handle up to 1,200kg. Other pallets will withstand heavier or lighter loads, depending on the manufacturers of the pallet.
Those are the basics for pallet safety and shipping dimensions. If you want to find out more, and make your workplace the safest it can be, check out WorkSafe Victoria. The government-run website has an abundance of resources on pallet safety guidelines, and information about how to make a claim if necessary.
Get in touch with the team at Plain Pallets to find out more about our range of pallets, or to secure a quote.
Plain Pallets on 29 April 2014
Do your pallets go the distance? If not, you may be losing money through replacement costs and damaged goods. Get the most out of your pallets ...Read more
Plain Pallets on 11 March 2014
Pallets are always useful. See the many ways old pallets can be reused. Who knows, maybe your next house or business will have some great pallet furniture! ...Read more