Safety tips for common forms of industrial equipment

Posted on: 24 July 2017

Industrial facilities use a wide variety of equipment to carry out their day-to-day operations. Here are some safety tips for two very common types of industrial equipment.

Mobile scaffolding

Mobile scaffolding is frequently used in industrial and warehouse settings, to install any shelving and machinery which needs to be positioned at a height. It can also be used to enable employees to quickly access materials which are located on tall shelving units. Although this equipment is invaluable in many industrial environments, it can also be quite dangerous, if it is handled incorrectly.  As such, certain safety precautions should be taken when using it.

For example, when the scaffolding needs to be moved, the person pushing it should ensure that they position their hands as close to the bottom of the scaffolding as possible, so as to reduce the chance of the equipment toppling over and crushing people nearby. Additionally, where possible, mobile scaffolding should never be moved whilst employees are standing on its platforms, as there is a risk that they could fall out of the equipment and suffer a serious injury as a result of their fall.

Before an employee mounts the equipment, they should check that it is located on level ground (to prevent it from tipping over whilst it is in use) and ensure that all of its castors are securely locked (to prevent any unexpected movement during the time they are on the scaffolding, as this movement could cause them to fall to the ground).

Last but not least, the scaffolding platforms should never be extended beyond the base of the equipment, as this could create an imbalance which could cause the equipment to topple over and injure the person inside it or those who happen to be standing nearby.

Manual pallet trucks

Manual pallet trucks are routinely used in industrial facilities, to quickly transport heavy goods from one area to another. There are several safety precautions which employees should take when using this type of equipment.

Firstly, manually-operated pallet trucks should only ever be used on level ground; if the operator attempts to push a product-laden pallet up an incline and they do not have the physical strength that is needed for this task, the pallet truck could roll backward and crush them.

Likewise, if they use this equipment to transport materials down a patch of sloped ground, they could lose their grip on the pallet truck, in which case it could roll downhill and hit those who are located at the bottom of the slope. Depending on the weight of the items being transported, this type of impact could result in a serious injury or even a fatality.

Secondly, employees should ensure that the items that are loaded onto pallet trucks do not exceed the equipment's weight limit, as this could lead to the forks of the truck collapsing, which could not only destroy the materials that are being transported, but could also injure anyone who is hit by the goods that have fallen off the equipment.