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Forklift safety: Are your pallets locked safely into the racking?

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article image The racking and pallets are designed to lock together so the pallets can’t move or fall out even when a forklift bumps into the racking

A basic rule of forklift safety is to check whether the pallets are locked safely into the racking.

Many companies have pallets that aren’t locked onto the pallet racking. Basically, when a pallet sits in the rack, both outer boards of the pallet should be locked over the uprights of the racking. When a pallet is locked on properly, it has to be lifted up vertically until the outer boards of the pallet clear the racking before it can be taken out.

Both the racking and the pallets are designed to lock together so that the pallets can’t move or fall out even when a forklift bumps into the racking. When operators don’t ensure they’ve put the pallet on squarely, leaving one end of the pallet not locked on, it causes safety problems. Usually, operators leave the highest and most awkward pallets not properly locked on, even though these are at the highest risk of falling out.

Another major problem arises when companies use poor quality pallets from overseas that are different in size from the Australian standard 1200mm x 1200mm pallets. Imported pallets (or skids) will be either too small to lock onto the Australian racking or will be flat on the bottom with no way of locking onto any racking. As soon as the racking is knocked or bumped, the imported pallets will fall out.

The solution lies in altering the racking slightly to accommodate the different size pallets. There are several simple options available for securing odd sized pallets into the racking.

Australian Forklift Training specialises in courses for forklift training and forklift licences. 

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