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HSE highlights importance of Rough Terrain Pallet Trucks with case study

The importance of having a rough terrain pallet truck around the workplace has been highlighted in a case study revealed by the Health and Safety Executive, after workers on a construction site encountered difficulty moving a load across an uneven expanse of concrete. The workers in question attempted to manually carry the load instead; a high-risk endeavour that could have injured employees and cost the organisation a great deal in insurance, sick pay and potential compensation claims.

The Health and Safety Executive recommends that contractors, and those working in factories and warehouses, invest in a rough terrain pallet truck if there are areas in their workplace that are difficult to travel over with a fully-loaded pallet truck. Rough terrain pallet trucks have a much wider wheelbase in order to support a full load even on uneven ground, and materials on these trucks can be moved to places that powered trucks are seldom able to reach due to their inability to be anything other than fully balanced and on even ground.

Phil Chesworth, Managing Director of Pallet Trucks UK, a leading supplier of rough terrain pallet trucks and a variety of other manual handling equipment, says, "Any workplace that suffers from a bumpy area of their workplace, whether it is a distribution area, a loading bay or a section of a warehouse, should invest in a rough terrain pallet truck for the safety of their workforce and for the protection of the goods they are handling. There is too much at risk for employees to be pulling extremely heavy loads over uneven ground without the right equipment, and businesses put themselves in great jeopardy when they don’t provide the appropriate equipment for such tasks."

It is important for workplaces to consider a few things when they use their rough terrain pallet trucks. The pressure of the pneumatic tyres needs to be checked very regularly; before any tasks are carried out with the truck, if possible. Soft, slightly deflated tyres make the truck more difficult to push, which can result in high risk for employees attempting to navigate bumps in the floor. A huge amount of effort can be expended in getting a truck over an initial bump, only for the operator to lose control on the other side and end up injured. High tyre pressure makes the trucks easier to manoeuvre. Where floors cannot be made even, they should at least be cleared and checked for anything that might cause punctures to the tyres, and puncture kits should always be on standby in case of an emergency.

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