Pallets are an important part of most warehouse operations. But the pallets themselves often get in the way, as they stack up when not in use. Unused pallets sitting around your warehouse can be hazardous to your operation and to workers in a variety of ways. The more you understand these risks, the more you can prevent them and protect your business. Here’s what you need to know about four common dangers.
1. Pallets Are Fire Hazards
Pallets made of wood represent the same fire hazard risk that anything made from a flammable material does. Pallets must be made with extremely dry, unfinished lumber in order to serve their purpose. So the risk of combustibility is even higher than with other products constructed from finished wood or with a lower wood profile.
This high fire danger is the reason that so many fire prevention measures must be taken. This often includes limiting the height of stacks, moving stacks farther apart, keeping stacks away from doors or windows, and installing warehouse-specific fire suppression systems.
Getting rid of pallets on a regular basis rather than letting them stack up removes this fire danger from your building. If you need pallets to ship goods out on the other end of your sales process, you can also order on an as-needed basis to keep fire risk low.
2. Pallets Are Tripping Hazards
An unattended pallet can be a hazard to the safe navigation of your warehouse. Because of its low profile, a pallet sitting on the ground or hanging off a shelf is easily overlooked as busy pickers and other workers speed around the warehouse.
Simple trip and fall accidents are estimated to cause up to 35 percent of all workplace accidents and have an average injury cost of $20,000. So prevention is key. Even if you must spend a little time and money to reduce the number of loose pallets around the warehouse, it’s worth the investment in the long run.
3. Pallets Are Security Hazards
Can excess pallets become security issues? In fact, this can happen fairly easily. How?
Consider a stack of pallets that starts out low but grows over time as more are thrown on top. The growing stack could eventually impede security cameras installed above it. And stacks that build up around cameras may not obviously impede the cameras’ field of view but cause blind spots that are then abused. In addition, a stack could obscure doors or windows and block locations from employee view.
4. Pallets Are Falling Hazards
The higher a stack of pallets grows, the more likely it is to become an overhead hazard at risk of falling on people, materials, or equipment.
While some pallets are fairly even in size, they also come in a variety of sizes that may lead to uneven and unstable stacking. And because they’re made from raw wood and are often hand-built, uniformity isn’t always easy to ensure. Any change in the centers of gravity or wood shape destabilizes the entire stack. An errant forklift or pallet truck could easily bump into a stack of loose pallets and cause an accident.
Do you want to avoid all these risks of letting your pallet supply stack up? Then what you need is a reliable system of buying and selling pallets to recoup your costs and avoid unnecessary risk of fire, tripping, falling, and blocking security features.
Pallet Plan B offers just that. Whether you’re a buyer, a seller, or both, we can help you manage your pallet stock just as efficiently as you manage inventory. Call or visit our site today to learn what we can do for you.