According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2008, there were 49,390 occupational injuries that affected the foot/toe. The total number of injuries last year involving non-powered pallet trucks was 17,580; of which 14% or 2,490 injuries were to the foot/toe.
A simple solution to improving safety. On most manual pallet jacks, the back wheels are exposed, presenting a real danger that the feet of operators or bystanders may be rolled over or crushed. By encasing the wheels of the manual pallet jack, this patented safety guard reduces the exposure associated with foot rollover injuries.
Employees who suffer a foot or toe injury miss an average of seven days of work. As shown at right, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 27% of all foot/toe injuries involve 31 or more days away from work.
A young worker at a warehouse was using a manual pallet jack to move a load down a loading ramp with a 9 percent slope. The worker was walking the pallet jack backwards, guiding it down by its steering handle. The 1,000-pound load was within the limits for the pallet jack, but the pallet jack sped up on the slope. The pallet jack's rear wheel assembly struck the worker's foot. His ankle was fractured.
Tiki Vietri has developed and holds the patent for The FootGuardian, a pallet jack safety guard. In this interview with American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), Vietri explains why he decided to create The FootGuardian and how the product can help reduce or eliminate foot rollover injuries caused by manual pallet jacks.