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Steel strapping is often the best way to secure a load to a pallet, and many manufacturers use it to ship their goods. However, the bands are tightened so tightly that cutting them can cause them to lash through the air violently. Anyone who may be in the way could suffer serious cuts as a result, so whoever is in charge of cutting the straps must take all the necessary precautions to do it safely.
Place the pallet in a location where you won't have to move it again. Make sure that it is on a solid, level surface and that the load isn't leaning. Reposition the pallet if necessary to ensure that it won't topple over after unstrapping.
Stand to the side as you position the strapping in the jaws of the cutters. Safety cutters should prevent whiplash, but it's best to stay out of the way just in case. When whiplash does occur, one end usually springs straight upward and toward the opposite side while the other end springs straight downward. Make sure that everyone is well clear of the path.
Cut the strapping squarely to avoid sharp angles. While you are cutting, pay attention to the pallet's load so that you can get out of the way if it starts to tip over.
Dispose of the straps properly after removing them. Leaving them on the ground presents a tripping hazard.
Wear the proper clothing for the job, including long sleeves, gloves, safety glasses and steel-toed boots.
- Wear the proper clothing for the job, including long sleeves, gloves, safety glasses and steel-toed boots.
Mike Gamble started writing professionally in 2011 for Demand Media Studios. Having worked as a line mechanic, landscaper, custodian, carpenter, web developer and disk jockey, he hopes to bring fresh insight into the topics he writes about from a variety of experiences.