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Shipping and storage is big business, but how can they be made safer?

How plastic pallets can keep workplaces safe and employees happy

Australia manufactures and ships a wide variety of different products – from fresh produce and other agricultural exports through to industrial goods such as coal. As a result, there’s a huge industry surrounding the safe and reliable transport of shipments from A to B. In fact, Safe Work Australia’s data reveals that the transport and storage sector employs as much as five per cent of the country’s workforce.

While these jobs are critical to the local economy, they also come with a certain amount of physical risk. If employees aren’t looked after and get injured, productivity can rapidly decrease, impacting efficiency across an entire business. To avoid this, businesses need to ensure that their warehouses follow industry best practice, and utilise the safest shipping equipment.

The transport and storage industry accounts for roughly eight per cent of workplace injury claims.

The impact of body stressing

Another insight from Safe Work Australia is that the transport and storage industry accounts for eight per cent of all serious claims made by employees due to a workplace injury. Of these claims, 41 per cent were due to what’s known as ‘body stressing,’ most commonly caused by muscular stress from handling heavy crates, boxes and pallets. Body stressing first presents as relatively normal aches and pains, but over time, repetitive actions can result in much more serious long-term damage.

In the world of shipping, these repetitive actions typically involve moving heavy crates and pallets, so one of the best ways to reduce employee risk is to make these items as easy to manoeuvre as possible.

Body stressing is the main cause of workplace injury in the transport and storage industry. Body stressing is the main cause of workplace injury in the transport and storage industry.

Safe pallets and best practices

An obvious way to make warehouses safer is to simply use lighter pallets. Of course, you don’t want to compromise the load-bearing strength of your materials, but plastic pallets allow you to reduce weight without having to compromise on structural integrity. Plastic pallets can weigh as much as 30 kilograms less than their wooden counterparts, without a reduction in the amount of product they can carry.

As an added bonus, the weight reduction also translates to lower shipping costs, meaning you can keep warehouse staff and your accountant happy. Certain products, such as Eco Pallets plastic crates, can also be customised with wheels, which makes them even easier to move from place to place, especially when they are fully loaded up.

In addition to using the right equipment, it’s important for businesses to conduct regular training sessions in order to make sure that employees are using the right techniques when lifting heavy loads. For more information on how plastic products can make your workplace safer, contact Eco Pallets today.

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