Abstract of TD-No.4

National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Japan

Handbook for occupational accidents prevention related to use of Roll Box Pallets (RBP)

Akihiro OHNISHI and Motoya TAKAGI

A roll box pallet (RBP) is a type of manual, four-wheeled, material handling equipment that can assist with efficient distribution services and load reduction on workers in Japan. Although RBPs are widely used in the transport, wholesale, retail, and manufacturing industries, it has been an issue that many RBP-related occupational accidents have occurred in these industries. Furthermore, the only definition of safe practice of RBPs has been a simple users' manual written by the manufacturers. Thus, we considered it important to publish a handbook about the safe use of RBPs and provide it to users, manufacturers, and administrative organizations.

First, to examine the appropriate use of RBPs, we organized an experts committee consisting of RBP manufacturers, users, and neutrals (e.g., researchers and public servants). The committee and we collated existing information and added new information for the handbook to cover the whole range of usage of RBPs. In addition, we considered simplifying expressions and terms in the handbook to help with better understanding. The structure of the handbook is as follows:

  1. About roll box pallets
  2. Accident analysis on the use of roll box pallets
  3. Types and accessories of roll box pallets
  4. Casters
  5. Working clothes and equipment
  6. Fundamental handling principles and methods
  7. Use of roll box pallets on and around a tail lift
  8. Falling hazard of roll box pallets
  9. Conditions and facilities for the safe use of roll box pallets
  10. Requirements for the safe use of roll box pallets
  11. Effective use of similar manual material handling equipment
  12. Inspection

Some characteristic points in this handbook involved deeper involvement that went beyond the existing information in the manufacturer's user manual. For instance, pushing the RBP from behind was the only authorized method for suitable handling; however, pulling the RBP from the front and pushing it sideways were also used in actual work situations. Therefore, we particularly described the merits and demerits of these in chapter 6 of the handbook for application by different RBP users. Further confirmation will be required whether this handbook will be useful for RBP users and whether it will contribute to a reduction in the number of accidents related to the use of RBPs.

Keywords: roll box pallets (RBP), cargo handling, occupational accident, safe use, user oriented handbook

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