July-August 2018

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18 PalletCentral • July-August 2018 uring inspection of pallet manufacturing and warehousing facilities, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) focuses on many potential common safety and health hazards, including noise, wood dust, and machine guarding. But another area that can be a source of citations – with maximum penalties now set at $129,336 – is materials storage and handling. In a 2015 warehouse accident, where three workers were hospitalized, 30 pallets holding glass drinks collapsed on the employees, the company was fined over $100,000 and was placed in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program. Employers can face citations alleging that empty pallets are stacked too high, or are unstable, or that forklift operators are not handling them safely as they are moved around the plant or yard. If a pallet is damaged and spills materials on the floor, this can create a slip/trip/fall hazard for anyone in proximity. Lumber storage on site may also be subject to such scrutiny about storage arrangements, although that is covered under a different standard, 1910.265. Of course, fire safety must be factored into the storage of pallets D Safe Pallet & Material Handling Solutions By Adele L. Abrams, Esq., CMSP SAFETY

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