There are a huge number of accidents involving pallet trucks each year in the UK, perhaps because these small carts are more powerful than they look. In most cases, these accidents could have been prevented by proper safety procedures, training, and supervision. Here’s your guide to avoiding accidents when operating a pallet truck.
What is a pallet truck?
Just as it sounds, a pallet truck is the small cart that is used to move pallets (flat wooden crates stacked with boxes or other items) around warehouses and factories. They have wheels to move around the floor, and also have the ability to lift pallets up and down vertically. Their design involves a vertical steering wheel, which is attached to two forks at the front which hold the pallet.
Safety tips for operating a pallet truck
- Always face the direction you’re going in
- Assess the space in front of you for potential hazards, and remember that the pallet truck’s wheels are relatively small
- Always ensure your load is completely safe and well-secured
- Walk slowly when pushing the pallet truck, never run
- Never exceed the maximum capacity of your cart
- When going down an incline, go in reverse so as to avoid losing control of the pallet truck
- Use gloves if necessary to prevent injury to your hands when pushing the truck
- Never make sharp turns and always slow down when turning corners
- Never leave the truck sitting with a raised position or on an incline
What to do if you have been injured at work by a pallet truck
If you have been injured in an accident with a pallet truck at work, whether you were operating it at the time or not, you may be entitled to make a claim for personal injury compensation. This is a legal provision which is designed to compensate the victims of other’s negligence in the workplace, whether other employees or your employer.
Accident Advice Helpline
If you’d like to find out more, contact our expert advisors at the Accident Advice Helpline. They’ll be able to tell you whether or not your claim is likely to be valid, and explain the procedure to you in detail. Accident Advice Helpline is a law firm which works entirely on a no win, no fee* basis, and with the personal endorsement of Esther Rantzen, consumer champion. Most of our cases are conducted entirely over the telephone, with no need for claimants to personally attend court.