Does your company use hand pallet trucks for moving loads of over 500kg? If not, you could easily be breaching the law! Independent research suggests that moving a load of just 500kg without a pallet truck could put you the wrong side of official guidelines.

If you’re an employer, it is your responsibility to do everything you can to maintain the well-being of your employees. In the case of lifting and shifting heavy loads, that you’ll need to ensure that you provide the right equipment and training.

According to the HSE, more than one third of all injuries requiring at least three days off from work are caused by manual handling (lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling or carrying). On average, each sufferer took 20 days off in a 12-month period – which represents a significant impact to your business.

Put simply, if you are moving loads frequently, you should be considering investing in a hand pallet truck.

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  1. Do not operate a hand pallet truck until you have checked its condition. Paying attention to wheels, handle, forks, lift and lever controls
  2. Never place any part of your body in the lifting mechanism or under the forks or load
  3. Do not carry passengers
  4. Do not handle unstable or loosely stacked loads
  5. Use special care when handling long, high or wide loads to avoid losing the load, striking bystanders, or tipping the truck
  6. Do not overload the truck
  7. The capacity of the truck assumes an evenly distributed load with the centre of the load being at the halfway point of the length of the forks
  8. Make sure the length of the forks suits the length of the pallet
  9. Lower the forks to the lowest height when the truck is not being used
  10. Hand pallet trucks are for general operation on level, flat, hard surfaces. If ramps are encountered during the job, you should use a Pallet Truck with brakes
  11. Stopping the truck if the truck has to be stopped in this manner, care should be taken, so that no part of your body is near or under the load
  12. Because these are manually operated trucks, they are not to be used by operators that are not physically capable of safely handling the trucks with a load
[/pl_accordioncontent] Here is a video we found of how NOT to use a Pallet Truck!

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Have a look at Western Industrial Products extensive range of Hand and Powered Pallet Trucks, from stainless steel varieties to electronic lifting trucks.

Article compiled by: Laura Pay-Savage