A Look Into Pallet Truck Safety In the Wake of Limerick Dunnes Incident

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Dunnes Stores were recently blamed and sued for over three hundred thousand euros for an incident which caused irreversible physical and psychological damage to a worker. The worker was quoted as saying that he blamed Dunnes Stores for ‘’Breaking his back and then breaking his life’’. The company made many failings in both its safety procedure and its subsequent treatment of their employee after the accident.  Safety is an important part of any industry especially when vehicles are involved to carry loads as they can not only potentially cause damage to both the operator and anyone on the workplace floor, but also cause greater injury as they carry a greater mass of materials than an individual worker.

The incident at Dunnes, not to dissimilar from the majority of incidents in industry, could have been easily prevented. The worker was attempting to move a batch of products out of a lift when the pallet pump wheels got caught and trapped on the lift causing the operator to fall and land on his back. The court found that the operator knew the load was too heavy but had not asked for help because in previous similar circumstances they were told to ‘’just deal with the problems’’. This is a prime example of an accident that could have been avoided. Due to the negligence of the company a worker was subject to a life changing injury.

There are many different ways to avoid accidents when using pallet jack. The simplest way is to ensure that the operator or any other members of staff don’t have their feet or other parts of their body under the jack. There are numerous accidents involving people being run over each year despite it being an obvious and easily preventable scenario. Another important precaution relates to the pallet truck’s advised capacity. It is extremely important not to exceed the capacity of the truck as it isn’t designed for loads greater than the specifications. Exceeding the capacity can result in damage to both operators and the equipment. Pallet pumps are designed for specific tasks so some are more efficient or suited to different tasks thus it is important to ensure that the right truck is used.

Pallet Jack’s, when used correctly, are essential for moving construction materials or products in factories. They are designed to be quick and efficient when used correctly. Similar to other types of machinery there are safety hazards and it is important to ensure that all the safety precautions are adhered to by all members of staff. They come in all shapes and sizes ranging from the standard hand pallet truck to the more innovative Pallet trucks. Pallet trucks save an enormous amount of time when it comes to moving materials around warehouses therefore it isn’t necessary to overload them especially when it exponentially increases the risk of an accident.