Weekly Safety Meeting – Electric Pallet Jack Safety

Electric Pallet Jack Safety

Electric pallet jacks make quick work of moving loads around the workplace. Pallet jacks protect your back from strains and injuries by moving heavy and awkward loads and objects that would be unsafe to lift manually. But, as with any powered tool, if used improperly, electric pallet jacks can become a safety liability.

Be familiar with the electric pallet jack that you will use on the job. Review the manufacturer’s operating instructions and details on the jack’s capacity. A lift rating capacity plate should be mounted on the jack; never exceed the manufacturers load rated capacity. Know how to use the power controls and brakes properly. Use the forks and attachments correctly. Always inspect the equipment prior to each use and never operate an electric pallet jack if it is malfunctioning.

Watch for coworkers and obstacles at all times when you are using an electric pallet jack. Give people the right of way instead of expecting them to get out of your way. Slow down and proceed cautiously when you are at a crosswalk or obscured throughway in the workplace. Try to stack and move loads in a manner that will not block your line of vision. Always use a spotter to assist you if you cannot see around the load.

Best practices:

Electric pallet jacks are easy and safe to operate as long as the best practices below are followed:

  • Prior to operating an electric pallet jack, always fill out the pre-operation inspection sheet. This will ensure you are using an electric power jack that is in good mechanical condition.
    • If the electric power jack does not pass the pre-operation inspection, do not use it and report the malfunctioning equipment to your supervisor immediately.
  • Always be cautious of the wide swing of the electric power jack. Keep your body, especially your feet and ankles, clear of the jack.

  • When operating the electric pallet jack always face the direction of travel. Do not walk backwards.

  • An electric pallet jack should never be operated on a ramp.

  • The red button on the operation handle is an emergency reverse. This button will prevent the electric pallet jack from running you over.

  • The electric pallet jack, with a full load, can weigh as much as a car. You cannot stop, push, or drag the electric pallet jack. Never use your body to stop the electric pallet jack.

  • Always leave the machine in the “off” position whenever it is not in use.
  • If a pallet is stuck on the forks of an electric pallet jack, there are only two ways it can be safely removed:
    • Using the hydraulics on the control arm move the forks up and down to loosen the pallet.
    • If option #1 does not work, call a forklift driver over and have him place his forks in the side of the pallet and it will slide off of the electric pallet jack.

Expect the unexpected and always be protected!! 


Download flyer: SMOTW_539_Electric Pallet Jack Safety.pdf (597.95 kb)

Download Spanish flyer: SMOTW_539_Electric Pallet Jack Safety_esp.pdf (598.20 kb)

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