Home>Handling & Storing>Safer Manual Handling>'Tis the season to be vigilant

'Tis the season to be vigilant

25 November 2015

With the height of the handling season fast approaching, Red Diamond Distribution is urging employers to pay special attention to their manual hand pallet trucks.

A third of all workplace injuries are of the type caused by their incorrect use, while worker claims for compensation are on the increase in UK courts.

The results of a detailed study of hand pallet trucks, by veteran handling equipment tester Theo Egberts, is "alarming for any company using them regularly".


The study measured the pulling forces on 17 popular models. The most shocking finding was not that most failed to approach UK regulations on lighter loads, but that none of the models tested met current UK legislation for moving a heavier load at all. 


Where a worker has to exert an unsafe force effort to undertake a task, it’s the duty of the employer to ensure that the worker either moves smaller loads or uses motorised equipment such as a powered pallet truck. 


"If I were operating hand pallets regularly I would be concerned," said Egberts. 


In many workplaces a manual hand pallet trucks is occasionally used on a bumpy floor or ramp. In those situations, sudden force spikes could increase the risk of injury many times over, explains Red Diamond Distribution.


Handling injuries at work comes in many forms, but by far the most common is back strain from using the wrong equipment. That's why the law in the UK insists that employees are protected by providing the correct equipment for the task. In most cases, using a power pallet truck instead of a hand pallet truck is the simple and inexpensive solution. A worker is four times more likely to be injured during their first month, so employers of seasonal and other occasional workers should to be especially aware of the risk.