Half-Size Pallets for Brick and Block

Half-size pallets for brick or block are pallets that have been loaded with half the material that a standard pallet holds.

Description:

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


Risks Addressed:

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:

Half-size pallets reduce the distance workers need to manually carry brick or block by placing materials closer to the site of work.
Since workers do not have to manually break down full-size pallets of brick or block, they spend less time manually moving materials around the work site. Also, when using half-size pallets, a worker decreases the number of times they need to ascend and descend the scaffolding, decreasing their risk of injury and falls.

Effects on Productivity:

The use of half-size pallets has the capability of increasing productivity.

Contributors:

Dan Anton, PT, PhD, ATC and Michael Milanoski, SPT – Eastern Washington University

Availability

Contractors can request materials to be shipped on half-size pallets.

Return on Investment

To calculate the return on investment (ROI) for your specific application, please visit our Return on Investment Calculator. While a specific ROI example has not been developed for this particular solution, the ROI Calculator provides a useful tool and guidance on how to generate your own on investment analysis.