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lisar  
#1 Posted : 02 January 2018 17:09:16(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
lisar

I have been asked how 2 people can push a pallet with goods on. This may seem like a stupid question as I would say its a 1 person task or get a fork lift truck, however we have someone push the pallet truck and another person helps push the load religiously at certain delivery points. Their line Manager following on from my accident investigation where an injury occured in this circumstance is trying to pin me down to giving him a specific weight that 2 people can safely do this task. Im aware of the Manual handling Regs and use the RAPP tool.

Ive tried explaining that there are many factors to consider but wondered if there was any guidance anywhere that either says this is normal practice and a weight recomendation or says that you shouldnt have 2 people on this task together

David Bannister  
#2 Posted : 02 January 2018 19:13:18(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
David Bannister

Hi Lisar, my stance would be that if a manual pallet truck requires 2 people to operate then something is not right - either the load is too great, or unstable, or the truck needs maintenance, or the floor/environment is inappropriate for such a truck or the staff are not being adequately supervised or something else...

2 people on this task is inviting errors.

I did chuckle at the reference to "religiously" - do they pray that the load will not fall off?

Happy new year.

George_Young  
#3 Posted : 02 January 2018 19:18:52(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
George_Young

as already stated, using a pallet truck should really be a 1 person task (Unless designed otherwise)

as for weight recommendations, it would be the capacity of the pallet truck, but this can be less depending on even loading of pallets and floor conditions.

Hsquared14  
#4 Posted : 03 January 2018 09:30:41(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Hsquared14

Totally agree with everyone else, pallet trucks are a one person job.  If a second person is needed to steady the load then something is clearly wrong.  All load movements need an exclusion zone around them in which no other persons are allowed in case of loss of load.  Look at the weight of the load, how it is packaged / palletised, SWL of the pallet truck and floor surface over which it is being moved. the bottom line is that this is a dangerous practice that must be stopped.

chris42  
#5 Posted : 03 January 2018 09:59:20(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris42

I agree with the others comments. A manual pallet truck has a handle only designed for one person to operate, so your description leads me to believe that one person will be pulling the load with the handle, while the other pushes on the load. This is dangerous as the two people will struggle to stay in synchronisation. This could easily lead to the second person pushing the load off the pallet truck. Alternatively, they could still be pushing while the other is trying to stop.

The Manager who is pushing for a specific value for max load, is obviously playing dumb. If they are clever enough to become a manager then they must be capable of understanding that everyone has different capabilities, so there cannot be a specific number. I understand their frustration at not being able to know an answer, but it will vary considerably depending on the individuals, and they will know this. This is one of those tasks where you have to do a bit of trial and error and take into account that just because someone can do something once does not mean they have that capacity all day.

The choice is not just between a hand pallet truck or a fork truck, you can get powered pallet trucks, which sounds like your answer to this issue. They are not cheap, but as you say the manager has already hurt one person, by not adequately resourcing the task. Only you and they know the exact circumstances to the incident but that is what it appears to be.

Chris

Edited by user 03 January 2018 13:14:37(UTC)  | Reason: spelling - Clever not cleaver

Invictus  
#6 Posted : 03 January 2018 11:08:07(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Invictus

get a fork lift? I wouldn't see a problem with two people using a pallet truck one pushing one steering, used to always do it, it was well planned out. If you cannot pick up something and you can't make the load smaller don't you call someone else to assist infact it's states it in the Manual Handling regs, they also talk about team lifting it has to be manged with one person being in control in this case it would be the person steering. 

The MH regs talk about size ability etc. suitable and sufficient assessment.

isn't this the reason we use a risk assessment if you can't put in reasonable control measures then it can't be done.

Roundtuit  
#7 Posted : 03 January 2018 12:41:26(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Pallet trucks (manual or powered) are designed for individual operation.

If two people are required to move the load (weight/bulk/securing) appropriate measures were not employed for a repeated task.

Moving 1,000 Litre IBC's by manual pallet truck I have seen enough bumps, grazes and near-miss crush injury to prove two people is not the right method (especially using trucks without brakes).

Woolf13  
#8 Posted : 03 January 2018 12:57:59(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Woolf13

Happy New Year!

As already discussed. A lift truck requiring two people is a poorly designed piece of equipment and an inefficient use of resource. You may find the links below useful to assist with risk assessment and when giving advice:

http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/pm15.pdf

http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg398.pdf

All the pictures have single operator for the equipment being utilised....

Mr.Flibble2.0  
#9 Posted : 04 January 2018 11:50:44(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Mr.Flibble2.0

Where does it state that a pump truck cannot be used by two people? 

I cannot see any issues with two people using a pump truck as you can pull a pump truck (shocking I know). The Manual Handling Regs do allow for you to pull and I can imagine a seneiro with a multi-drop driver and the drivers mate off loading at a location with an incline which may require a two person operation.

andrewcl  
#10 Posted : 05 January 2018 14:47:38(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
andrewcl

Lisa, agreed! Get a forklift, or as Chris42 suggests, a powered pallet truck.  As woolf13 has said, pallet trucks are intended for use by one person - this sounds to me like someone saying "It doesn't say anywhere that 2 people shouldn't use a pallet truck, so that's what we'll do!" Does everything really need spelling out?!

As Invictus says, I'm sure it can be risk assessed and done sensibly, but it sounds like this is a routine thing that is happening a number of times a day, at which point I would personally say it's no longer a "stop-gap" to use once in a blue moon.

Yes there are guidelines saying how much a person can lift, and arguably how much 2 people can lift (push, pull, carry, struggle with etc), but it cannot be defined in law.

I would be interested to know what sort of conclusions you came to with the RAPP tool...

Last thing I managed to dredge up was this link here, (a short way in it looks at trolleys and the force required to move them, as well as team lifts and so on..)

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/488824/20160101-375_2016_P2_Vol1_Chapter_10_V1-0_Manual_Handling.pdf​​​​​​​

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