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This easy-to-use Leader’s Guide is provided to assist in conducting a successful presentation. Featured are: INTRODUCTION: A brief description of the program and the subject that it addresses.


Wooden pallets are very useful in material handling because they allow us to stack and move materials safely and quickly. They are used in almost all industrial and warehouse environments. Although we tend to forget about the hazards associated with pallets, each year many people suffer injuries from mishandling and misusing them.

This program reviews the basic safety rules and proper work methods needed to work safely with wooden pallets.


  • Pallets come in different sizes and are constructed in various ways.
  • Each size and construction has different weight and load ranges and must be used according to your company’s specifications.
  • The size and loading of a pallet can affect the forklift or other material handling equipment.
  • As the load center of a pallet increases, the lifting capacity of the forklift decreases.


    • Before using a pallet, make sure it can be safely stored in a rack with a heavy load. It should be constructed of hardwood and be in good condition.

    • Top and bottom boards should be in place and should not be cracked or have pieces missing.
    • Stringers should be in good repair; if they are damaged, they should be properly repaired with plugs or mending tape.
      • There must be no protruding nails or slivers of wood on the pallet.
      • If it is determined that a pallet is unsafe, it should be taken out of service until it can be repaired.


      • Always wear gloves when handling wooden pallets.
      • Because they are heavy and awkward to carry, move a pallet by standing on its edge and sliding it.
      • Don’t throw pallets because you can injure yourself and damage the pallet.
      • Don’t store pallets on their edges or ends. Pallets stored on edges tend to fall and cause injuries.



  • Walk around pallets and not on them; many falls occur while attempting to walk on a pallet.
  • Separate pallets into stacks of usable pallets and those that need service. Don’t mix unsafe pallets with those ready for use.
    • Don’t manually stack pallets more than 7 or 8 high; use forklifts to make stacks higher.
    • To properly stack pallets, slide the pallet to one side of the stack. Using proper lifting motion, slide the pallet up the side of the stack and onto the top.


      • Because pallets are used on a daily basis, material handlers often don’t think about pallet safety.
      • Take the time to think about a large load lifted 20 feet in the air. Will the pallet be sturdy enough to hold it?
      • It takes an effort on everyone’s part to make pallet safety a part of the everyday operation.



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