Pallet jacks are vitally important tools for many industrial facilities, but they can also be dangerous if they are not operated properly. You need to create the safest environment possible at your facility by not making the following five pallet jack safety mistakes: 

Being unaware of the maximum capacity of your pallet jacks

Every pallet jack will have a maximum weight capacity, and operating a pallet jack while exceeding this weight capacity can be very dangerous. 

If too much weight is placed on a pallet jack, it can drop a load to the ground while it is in use. This could cause severe accidents and also destroy the pallet jack. 

You should be aware of the weight capacities of all of your pallet jack equipment. In fact, it's even a good idea to keep the weight capacity clearly posted on the pallet jack somewhere.

To maintain safety, your pallet jack operators also need to have an idea of the weights of the loads they are transporting with the pallet jack to know that they are not exceeding the maximum capacity. 

Neglecting to regularly inspect pallet jacks

Over time, pallet jack components will inevitably wear out. Regular inspections of pallet jacks should determine if the controls are all operating properly. Also, it's important to inspect the wheels carefully to make sure that they are not cracked or worn down. Worn down wheels will make a pallet jack harder to control. 

Letting pallets become exposed to moisture

When it comes to pallet jack safety, the quality of your pallets is almost as important as the quality of your pallet jacks themselves.

You need to make sure your pallets are strong and sturdy so they don't collapse while they're being used. Pallets are typically composed of wood, so they are susceptible to rotting and losing strength if they're exposed to moisture. 

Not adequately training employees in safe pallet jack operation

Employees need to be thoroughly versed in the rules for safely operating pallet jacks. They should know that pallet jacks should always be pushed and not pulled. They should know to keep their feet clear from underneath the pallet jack, and they should also know that it's necessary to turn around and go down an incline in reverse. 

Neglecting to enforce a maintenance schedule for facility pallet jacks

Pallet jacks need to be maintained to maximize their lifespans and to ensure their safety. A regular inspection should catch any rust development that could cause components to weaken. Pallet jacks will typically need to be oiled occasionally to continue operating smoothly.

If a pallet jack is not moving or holding up loads normally, it needs to be immediately taken out of service and repaired.