Young Worker Injured When Manual Pallet Jack Accelerates Down Ramp Hazard Alert

Topic: Young Worker Injured When Manual Pallet Jack Accelerates Down Ramp
Date Issued: August 15, 2016 Date Revised:

A young worker at a warehouse was using a manual pallet jack to move a load down a ramp with a 9% slope. The worker was walking the pallet jack backward, guiding it down by its steering handle. The 454-kilogram (1,000-pound) load was within the limits for the pallet jack, but the pallet jack sped up on the slope. The pallet jack’s rear wheel assembly struck the worker’s foot and fractured his ankle.

Safe work practices:

  • Provide workers with the information, training and supervision necessary to ensure their safety when using equipment.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s safety instructions. Equipment designed for use only on flat, level surfaces should not be used on slopes or ramps.
  • Provide young and new workers with additional training until they can perform their work safely.
  • Regularly assess each equipment operator’s performance.
  • Identify work areas that pose risks to workers using equipment such as manual pallet jacks. Correct unsafe conditions immediately.
  • Ensure workers wear the appropriate safety footwear.
  • Inspect equipment daily and perform regular maintenance, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Keep maintenance records.

Adapted with permission from WorkSafeBC

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