Working in a warehouse or distribution center, there are many threats to safety. From wayward forklifts, to heavy lifting injuries, to unsecured items like box cutters; there’s always the potential for harm. But when it comes to packages and pallets, there are a number of products that can make handling safer for workers.
The easiest way to improve warehouse safety is to ensure proper pallet unitization. What this means is that all packages are secured on the pallet so that even if they get bumped or jostled, none of the boxes will fall over or become unstable. There are a few products designed specifically for pallet unitization.
Shrink and Stretch Film
Shrink and stretch film is probably the most commonly used and secure method for pallet unitization. Once the correct number of boxes or other items are stacked on a pallet, the entire lot is wrapped in layers of stretch film to hold everything together. When the pallet is then transported, everything will be held in place to prevent spills and damage. There are a number of shrink and stretch film options depending on needs such as strength or ease of use. There are even colored bundling stretch films to color code inventory for easy sorting.
If you don’t have an entire pallet of packages, but rather just a few items, it could be more efficient to strap them together rather than stretch wrapping them. This will keep the packages together without taking as much time to wrap and unwrap. There are a number of strapping materials to choose from including steel strapping for heavy loads, polyester strapping with is non-corrosive and lighter than steel, and polypropylene strapping tape for general packing use that allows for some stretch. You’ll also need to consider other supporting products, such as strapping sealers, strapping shears, and strapping tensioners, so make sure you have all necessary items in place before you get started.
For fragile products that require extra care during handling, edge protectors can provide extra support while serving as a “bumper” on corners. Printed edge protectors can also convey messages to workers, which is especially important for items that should not be stacked or require additional handling instructions. Though this isn’t a true unitization product in that it still requires some form of wrapping, it does provide an additional layer of protection and support.
Have any questions about which pallet unitization product is right for you? Feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org for a consultation.