Warehouse managers know that warehouse safety training is essential in maintaining a seamless and well-functioning warehouse floor.
While an electric pallet jack, sometimes referred to as a power walker or walkie, is considered one of the most useful pieces of warehouse equipment, it’s different from other electrical machinery found in a warehouse and is often forgotten about when it comes to operator training. Like a standard pallet jack, the electric pallet jack is primarily operated manually, not driven like a forklift, but safety training for walkie operators is still critical.
Here are a few measures you can take to limit personal or infrastructure injuries while using an electric pallet jack, considered a Class III powered truck by OSHA standards.
Always Conduct An Inspection
Even a walkie should receive a thorough pre-use walkaround inspection. Due to the device's low-lift construction, a power failure for an electric pallet jack won’t be as catastrophic as one for a bigger piece of machinery, but that in no-way means it doesn’t require inspection before use. Of course, any issues or areas of concern should be addressed immediately.
Respect the Machine
When piloting an electric pallet jack, be mindful of your surroundings. When making turns, be aware of the jack’s wide swing. You’ll also want to make sure that your feet and hands are in no way compromised while maneuvering through tight spaces. Electric pallet jacks should always be operated with as much care and caution as any other lift truck.
Use the Safety Features
The latest electric pallet jack models from Hyster offer smart Shift Assist features to improve safety and enhance productivity including Intelligent Slow Down. This feature automatically slows the electric pallet jack down during turning for enhanced load stability.
Never Use Your Body to Stop a Walkie
If you ever lose control of a walkie pallet jack, get out of the way and let others know to do the same. Though a walkie is smaller than other forklifts, it is never ok to stop an out of control pallet jack with your body. They may look nimble, but with a full load, electric pallet jacks are heavy, dangerous, and cause serious bodily injury.
For more information on safety training for electric pallet jacks and other warehouse equipment, contact the experts at your local Papé Material Handling to schedule a warehouse safety training session or review the complete OSHA powered industrial truck operator training guidelines on their website.