HSE working towards pallet weight restriction

Chris Tindall
June 3, 2016

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is looking at ways to reduce maximum pallet weights to 750kg to cut the risk of injuries to drivers making tail-lift deliveries.

The move follows the announcement last year by Palletline and Fortec that they were reducing the maximum tail-lift delivery weight to 750kg. In Palletline’s case it has continued to handle heavier pallets under a scheme called Lift Assist, which members charge a supplement for.

The RHA, which has been pushing for a change for some time, is spearheading a campaign to restrict pallet weights for single driver deliveries.

There is no law stipulating pallet weights, but an HSE spokeswoman told Commercialmotor.com it expected companies to conduct a risk assessment for drivers.

“They should take into consideration the real risk delivery drivers face of suffering musculoskeletal injuries from moving heavy loads as well as looking at what the safe working limit is for the lorry’s tail-lift,” she said.

“The HSE is working with the industry to explore reducing the maximum pallet weight to 750kg.”

Paul Johnson, MD at West Midlands haulier Transervice Express, said that after discussions with the HSE he believed it wanted the industry to take the lead. “They are waiting for the industry to come up with a workable, safe load and then enforce it. It is the industry that handles those pallets, they are looking to the industry to say what is safe.”

However, Johnson warned: “The problem is, if the industry doesn’t come up with a workable solution and it is left to the HSE, it could say ‘OK, we will call it 500kg’. And then we are in a mess.”

RHA head of technical services Ray Engley said: “The RHA is one of the biggest pushers of this. It is gathering momentum and the HSE is keen. We want to work with it to make sure that happens.”

About the Author


Chris Tindall

Chris Tindall started writing for the haulage and logistics industry in 2002 and has covered a broad range of significant issues, including GPS jamming by criminals, platooning and Brexit.

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