Packaging/Shipping » Forklifts/Pallet Jacks

Employees move and position heavily loaded pallets of product within the wood shop using forklifts and/or pallet jacks.

Hazards of this task may include:


Hazardous Situation

Forklifts are driven in heavily congested areas where many other operations are being performed. Visibility and sightlines can be limited, increasing the chance of collisions between machinery and employees.

Possible Solutions

  • Use signs and policies to prohibit others from entering into these areas.

  • Use horn when appropriate to alert others.

  • Improve lighting where applicable.

  • Drive forklift backwards when moving loads.

Hazardous Situation

Over a long period of time the solid rubber wheel on the front of the forklift has developed a flat spot resulting in unstable loads and poor handling.

Possible Solutions

  • Train operators to inspect and recognize potential problems or hazards.

  • Implement equipment inspection plan.

  • Report and correct problems as soon as identified.

Hazardous Situation

There is a potential for pallets to collapse or tip on driver; uneven floor areas increase the danger.

Possible Solutions

  • Institute a program of safe storage and stacking.

  • Train employees in proper procedures for housekeeping.

  • Plastic wrap loads to maintain stability.

  • Inspect and replace bad floor areas.

Hazardous Situation

Forklift batteries need to be removed by hoist and routinely charged. Exposure to fumes or vapors from the battery charging process can be dangerous.

Possible Solutions

  • Provide all employees with personal protective equipment.
    Provide eyewash and showers for emergencies.

  • Provide proper ventilation.

Hazardous Situation

While using hand or electric jacks, employees may have the problems of backing into walls, running over own feet, or running into other employees as they move through freezer doors. It is difficult to see who or what is on the other side of the doors, because the windows may be high and covered with frost.

Possible Solutions

  • Provide windows in doors low enough for employees to see who or what is coming on the other side, even if pushing pallet jacks.

  • Train employees in proper and safe methods for using of hand/electric jacks, to avoid injuries.

  • Provide one-way entrance and exits.