Pushing a pallet jack is safer than pulling

Oct 20, 2022
Written by WR Communications

Pallet jacks are often used for moving merchandise, but how they are operated can significantly affect employee safety and productivity.

Pushing a pallet jack could mean moving four times more weight than pulling!

Rick Means, WR’s Director of Safety and Education, reminds us that when moving weight, a worker is at their strongest when pushing with their legs. The physics follows the same principle as in lifting: use the legs for balance, not the back.

Swiftly stopping a load pulled with a pallet jack can increase the risk of collision between the load and the worker. Additionally, the body mechanics required to pull a pallet jack puts the body into an anatomically compromised position, which can lead to lower back injuries. Pushing enables a person to have better steering control, load maneuverability, and the ability to stop quickly.

Train your employees to start pushing pallet jacks instead of pulling them, and the improvement in productivity should be immediately noticeable.

Check out SAFEME’s Material Handling lesson for more ideas to help you safely move merchandise.

Rick Means, Director of Safety and Education, is available to help members with safety. Contact Rick at 360-943-9198, Ext. 118 or [email protected].


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