Is it an Activity Hazard or Equipmnt Hazard?- Manual Handling Pallets

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The activity is related to stacking pallets. Our raw materials are delivered on pallets, as are our finished products, so we use lots of them. The pallets are collected from around the workplace and stacked by hand.

This could pose either/or an activity hazard or an equipment hazard, it’s all in the description:

Activity – collecting pallets from around the workplace and stacking them by hand.

Hazard – due to the number of pallets used this manual handling task is carried out frequently and sometimes for prolonged periods.

This kind of event might cause fatigue. Even though those involved could normally handle this weight, due to this fatigue, the weight might become excessive.

You might expect that this could result in upper limb disorders or musculoskeletal disorders such as back injuries or impact injuries such as contusions.

Where this activity is carried out you might expect that an existing control might consist of the delivery of manual handling training to all those who are involved.

If you were to go on to control this hazard further you might consider the use of an automated pallet stacker. The empty pallets would be delivered to the stacker by pump truck or fork lift truck. This would eliminate the need to carry or lift (to stack) the pallets, thereby eliminating the manual handling hazard.

Alternatively, as an equipment hazard, you might consider:

Equipment – raw materials and finished product are palletised on plastic pallets, which weigh 25kg

Hazard – lifting, carrying and stacking these heavy pallets can place a strain on the back, shoulders and legs etc.

If you were to go on to control this hazard you would replace the heavy pallets with something lighter (not that you need to do so for your project).

Good luck

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