5 Industry Standards for Stacking Pallets Safely: A How-to Guide

Proper pallet stacking may seem like common sense. Even as children, we often stacked blocks with little trouble. But when the typical loads for most pallet stacks weigh in at thousands of pounds, the details truly become more important than ever. Falling objects, unsafe use of forklifts, and even uneven stacking can quickly cause devastating issues for your business. That’s why our team at Plastic Pallet Pros has compiled a list of five industry standards you should uphold when it comes to stacking your pallets safely. Peruse the guide below, implement the strategies outlined here, and watch the benefits of proper pallet stacking impact your business right away.

Benefits of Proper Pallet Stacking

There are two main benefits of stacking your pallets in an optimal fashion. The first is, of course, safety. Stacking pallets properly improves the safety of your facility for both your employees and your products.

The other major benefit of proper pallet stacking comes from the increases in productivity, and the reductions in overhead spending. By preventing accidents with these safety procedures, you can trim costs and create a more efficient workspace for everyone. Read on for a further explanation.

How to Stack a Pallet Safely: Fast Facts

When stacking pallets of uniform size, even distribution is pertinent. By stacking evenly, you greatly reduce the chances of falling stacks and cut down on unused space to improve efficiency.

When stacking different sized pallets, placing the heaviest on the bottom should be your technique. Doing so prevents products from shifting during transit.

1.) Always Stack Pallets Evenly

Warehouse safety and efficiency both call for evenly stacked pallets. This means no over-hanging edges or uneven distribution of weight. Uneven stacking means unbalanced pallets, which can result in dangerous falls. Make sure your pallets are secure and distributed evenly so you will never have to worry about pallets toppling off of forklifts, or products shifting during transit. Make sure your team is also on the lookout for overhanging edges that could catch on machinery or employee clothing during the shipping process.

2.) Place the Heaviest Objects on the Bottom of the Stack

Putting the heaviest objects on the bottom of your stack creates a lower center of gravity and consequently, a more stable pallet stack.

3.) Abide by Height & Weight Limitations

It is never a good idea to stack products too high. Doing so greatly increases fall risk, which could damage your products, or worse, injure your employees. Make a note of how much space you have and never stack too high on the top rack of your pallet storage systems.

When using pallets, it is likely that your team is handling great amounts of weight. However, when stacking products on pallets, you should never try to be the “hero” who stacks the most weight at once. Forklift operators should know the limitations of their equipment and pay careful attention to them. Again, failure to do so is a major safety hazard, endangering the lives of not only the operator but also any nearby employees.

4.) Safety Tips for Double Stacking Pallets

Always use proper lifting aids – safety equipment, including bars, and stabilizers will help ensure the load remains secure during the lifting process. Additionally, make sure your double-stacked pallets are the same width. Failure to pay close attention to this detail could result in accidents. 

When hauling double-stacked pallets, double-check that the weight does not exceed the capacity of the forklift. Be sure that every member of your team understands the additional safety concerns of double-stacked pallets before implementing this useful technique at your facility.

5.) Never Reuse Damaged Pallets

While it may seem like you are just trying to save a few bucks by reusing damaged pallets, this practice could end up costing you a lot more money in the long run. Damaged pallets lack the stability and durability of undamaged ones, which creates significant safety hazards.

Cracked areas, protruding fasteners, or any other visible damage: if there is any doubt at all, it is best to replace your pallets in order to ensure the safety of your team and the products they handle every day. 

Want More Guidance? Talk to Plastic Pallet Pros

Stacking pallets can be a dangerous line of work when handled improperly. But the pros at Plastic Pallet Pros are ready to provide whatever assistance they can to ensure you have the best pallets for the job, as well as the information you need to use them correctly. For even more safety tips, you can check out our OSHA Warehouse Safety Guidelines blog.

In the meantime, our team is available to assist you. Whether you need more guidance on which pallets are the best option for you, or if you’d like to purchase new pallets to replace your damaged ones (see tip #5), please do not hesitate to contact our team. We look forward to helping you find the best pallet solution.