Empty pallets are bulky, heavy and take up a lot of room. It's tempting to store them however is easiest and saves space, we get it, but improper pallet storage is an accident waiting to happen. Taking the time to set company policies and train your staff on proper pallet storage can prevent accidents that could potentially injure employees and cause property damage. So what's the right and wrong way to store pallets?
Beware of the Height
Never stack pallets too high. OSHA standard 1917.14 states "Cargo, pallets and other material stored in tiers shall be stacked in such a manner as to provide stability against sliding and collapse." OSHA requires that freestanding pallet stacks not exceed 15 feet, but even that may be too high considering that each pallet weighs 30-70lbs. by itself, which means you could have over a thousand pounds of pallets unsecured in your facility. It may meet regulations, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's safe. Six foot stacks are the generally accepted safe height standard.
Keep It Neat
Pallets should always be stacked horizontally and each stack should only contain similarly sized pallets. Stacking pallets haphazardly puts them at risk of toppling over. In addition, pallets should never be stored on their sides or wedged in between objects, as they can fall over when the surrounding items are moved.
Retire Old Pallets
Don't keep damaged pallets. Pallets with splintered edges or protruding nails are likely to injure workers and damage products. In addition, pallets with missing boards or other parts run the risk of breaking during transport or under a load. Damaged pallets can also crack in storage, causing a stack to lean or possibly fall over.