HSE guidance on the handling of pallet weights could take another six months to be finalised and will not set a limit on pallet weights, according to the head of the working group liaising with HSE on the guidance.

Richard Smith, RHA operations director, who is chairman of the working group, told MT that a final draft of the guidance on the handling of pallet weights, which has been five years in the making, has been handed to the group for review.

Smith confirmed that the guidance does not contain a limit on pallet weights.

Smith said: “Pallet weights are a significant factor but they are not the sole factor. Other factors have to be considered such as the conditions at the point of delivery, the stability of the pallet, that the pallet is correctly manifested – it is more about safety and training and the empowerment of drivers within the culture of a business to make a dynamic assessment at point of delivery.”

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Asked why the guidance has taken so long to get to final draft stage Smith said: “I understand the frustration in the industry. It has taken five years to get to this point and while the working group has been looking at these issues think about how much the number of pallet deliveries has risen, which is why we are working with the APN to get feedback from the grassroots on this issue.”

Smith called on members of RHA and APN to attend a meeting on 6 February hosted by the RHA that will review the draft guidance.

“I would encourage anyone with involvement in this sector to attend the meeting. We want their input and we want as much feedback on the draft guidance as possible,” he added.