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After lengthy deliberation, Health and Safety Executive opposes putting weight limit on pallet trucks

Following a series of testing and deliberations, the HSE has decided against including a maximum weigh limit for pallets into the official HSE guidelines amid fears that doing so may be overly disruptive for the distribution sector.

Despite thorough considerations, with particular emphasis being placed on the importance of maintaining high levels of safety for workers, it was concluded that such requirements could be served adequately through the use of individual risk assessments conducted by transport operators.

Throughout the stages of the debate, which ensued for two years, a number of maximum weights were suggested, including 750kg, which would have applied to both good’s originators and transport operators.

After deeming it to be the responsibility of those in control of transport operations to ensure that high levels of safety are being met, the HSE has asked for a guidance covering safe handling and best practice for deliveries via pallets to be drawn up by an industry working, which is chaired by the Road Haulage Association (RHA).

Phil Chesworth, managing director of Pallet Trucks UK and its parent, the Midland Group of Companies says, “Maintaining high levels of safety for those working with loaded pallets is important, but there is nothing to say that heavier pallets are any more dangerous than those with light loads. Setting a pallet weight limit could be debilitating to workforces and it is also important to recognise that any limit would need to take into account the various different conditions that pallets are used in.

“The safety benefits of doing so would be minimal and would be better served by ensuring that the proper precautions are taken when handling pallets. Pallet Weighing Scales offer a plethora of benefits and are ideally suited to applications where pallet scales are not suitable.

“We are a materials handling supplier and work across a wide range of businesses and industries and our heavy pallet trucks are robust enough to deliver high-performance, long-lasting qualities for any type of industry.”

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