Solution Summary: Half-Size Pallets for Brick and Block
Using half-size pallets for brick or block is an administrative control that can reduce musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) from manual material handling and stooped postures. These pallets have been loaded with half the material that a standard pallet holds.
Half-size pallets for brick or block are pallets that have been loaded with half the material that a standard pallet holds. The reduced weight allows for the pallet to be placed directly in a localized area of work. Typically, laborers must divide full pallets of material on to other pallets, and then position the material on to the scaffolding before beginning work. A half-size pallet eliminates this step since the material can be placed directly at the site of work.
Standard brick or block pallets are delivered with 756 pieces and weigh about 3000 lb, making them too heavy to place on scaffolding. Half-size pallets weigh half of the normal shipping weight, eliminating the need to break down the pallet before starting work (Figure 1). Due to the reduced weight, half-size pallets can be placed on scaffolding next to the bricklayers by a lift. This reduces the time spent manually handling/moving materials around the site, which increases efficiency.
Figure 1. Loaded half-sized pallet
Heavy lifting and carrying and stooped postures can cause low back disorders, such as muscle strain or a disc herniation (“slipped disc”), which is bulging of disc material possibly pressing on the spinal cord or nerves that go into the leg. Using half-size pallets can reduce heavy lifting and carrying and stooped postures by minimizing the step of transferring bricks or blocks from a standard pallet to smaller pallets. As an added benefit, the reduced weight of the half-size pallets also allows them to be placed directly in a localized area of work.
How Risks are Reduced:
Effects on Productivity:
Dan Anton, PT, PhD, ATC and Michael Milanoski, SPT – Eastern Washington University
Contractors can request materials to be shipped on half-size pallets.