Wood pallets are commonly used for shipping. Reusing wood pallets for shipping purposes can be a good way to cut costs and increase the sustainability of your company's operations.
However, it's important to periodically inspect your pallets and replace them when necessary. Failing to replace wood shipping pallets when necessary can lead to safety hazards and product damage.
The following are six indications that you need to replace your facility's wood shipping pallets.
Pallet wood is starting to rot or weaken.
Unfortunately, pallets used for shipping purposes can often be exposed to moisture while they are en route to their destination. This can make it possible for pallet wood to start to rot. Rotting pallet wood will be weak and more likely to collapse under shipping loads.
Boards that make up a pallet feel loose or aren't sturdy.
Pallet boards need to be firmly held together by hardware pieces to create a sturdy surface for shipping products. If boards begin to feel loose over time, the pallet may be losing its strength and boards might eventually break out of place during shipments.
There are boards on the pallet that have broken or snapped apart.
Eventually, pallet boards might snap apart under the force of the weight placed on top of them. It's important to discard pallets with broken boards and replace them with undamaged pallets.
Hardware such as nails and screws holding boards together is missing.
Hardware is an essential component that holds the pallet together. During pallet inspections, it's important to make sure that hardware pieces are still present and functioning properly.
If there are numerous hardware pieces that are missing, these hardware pieces should be replaced or the entire pallet should be replaced.
Hardware is showing signs of rust development.
Hardware is not as sturdy if it has become rusted. Pallet hardware is likely to develop rust at some point if the pallet is routinely exposed to moisture or salts. It's best to replace hardware showing signs of rust or completely dispose of the affected pallets.
Hardware is coming up out of boards and creating an injury hazard.
Using shipping pallets can become very unsafe if screws and nails start to stick up from the surface of the pallet boards. When this happens, hardware can become caught on other pallets or equipment at shipping facilities and cause accidents and equipment damage. Such hardware can also come into contact with the skin of workers and cause deep cuts or other serious injuries.