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Is buying Manual Handling Equipment from untested dealers worth the risk? by Phil Chesworth, Managing Director of Pallet Trucks UK

How important is it to purchase important workplace equipment from respected and trusted dealers? The Healthy and Safety Executive reports that manual occupations, meaning those which make use of hand pallet trucks and other manually operated equipment, have the highest rate of workplace injury, and in many instances it is down to poor equipment from second-hand dealers. RIDDOR reports indicate that 3 in 10 of all injury reports in workplaces are down to manual handling, with an estimated 1.2 million days of work lost as a result of these injuries.

Phil Chesworth, Managing Director of Pallet Trucks UK, a premier provider of equipment to the manual handling industry, says, "Buying from a trusted dealer with a reputation for quality is essential when purchasing equipment that is going to be used by the majority of the workforce. Not only could a faulty pallet truck put staff at risk, it would also decrease productivity and in the case of it breaking altogether, it would cost a lot to replace. It is crucial to check the credentials of any suppliers before purchasing to ensure the safety and productivity of your workforce."

All trucks and other apparatus must come with the appropriate documentation, and if an owner requests it they can be provided with a certificate of conformity. This certifies that the trucks are brand new, of the highest quality and have been thoroughly checked and tested to verify their safety and security. Trucks like this should last into many years, rather than the weeks or months that a potentially faulty pallet truck would last for if buying from a provider without the appropriate history of selling such equipment. Auction websites and second-hand sellers can be dangerous and can refuse to refund or pay out should the truck break down or be written off, even within weeks of the sale.

The cost of simply buying a brand new pallet truck outright is surely most cost-effective than having to lay out hundreds of pounds in sick pay due to injuries sustained as a result of malfunctioning trucks or equipment. The same can be said of replacing a hand pallet truck or manual stacker truck which breaks down during use; not only will this result in a potentially late order for a client or a backlog of orders, it can also cost hundreds to either repair or replace it. In the end, the risk is not worth the outlay, and the advice from the experts is to stick to trusted providers when it comes to workplace equipment.

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