If you are looking for a structure to help you transport or ship stuff, wooden pallets are the best choice. However, you need to know that pallet safety comes first, especially if you are buying a used one. For this reason, here are a few guidelines to knowing whether a wooden pallet is safe for use.
Find Out the Industry from Which the Pallet Came From
In most cases, industries use and reuse wooden pallets for a while before they can decide to sell or discard them. Therefore, if you are buying a used wooden pallet, be very keen on the industry from which they came from. You want to avoid wooden pallets from chemical processing industries because of the possibility that they are drenched in pesticides and other chemicals, which can make them unsafe for use. Dry goods companies and industries are likely to have safer wooden pallets. This is simply because chances of spillages are minimal with dry goods.
Look For Stamps and Markings On The Side Of the Pallet
Wooden pallets usually have markings or stamps of logos. These will give you a hint on whether the pallet is safe or unsafe for use. Since many wooden pallets are used for international transportation, check whether there is an international logo for plant protection agencies or conventions. If the wooden pallet doesn't have such logos, then it may be unsafe for use.
Wooden pallets are usually treated before use. The mode of treatment is indicated on the sides of the pallets. Check for markings indicating the mode of treatment used. The common modes of treatment are chemical fumigation and heat treatment. Pallets treated under heat are usually safer for use than their chemically fumigated counterparts, which could have been treated with harmful chemicals.
However, you may find wooden pallets that don't contain any markings or stamps. Such pallets are usually used domestically, and may therefore not have been treated under chemicals. Most of them are often safe for use. However, it's still important to know where the wooden pallets came from, just to be certain about the safety levels.
Avoid Coloured Pallets
Coloured pallets are most likely to have been used by chemical processing companies. Therefore, they may contain resins and other chemicals, which could make them harmful for use.
Look For Visible Signs of Infestation
Termites and other insects can infest wooden pallets. Therefore, look for woodpiles and any other visible signs of the infestation. If infested, don't buy the pallet.