13 22 54

Order Pickers - Operating Safely at Height

Filed under: Safety

As order pickers are designed to operate at height, it is necessary to understand the extra operating procedures that will apply. This weeks’ blog will examine five key safety measures to consider whilst operating order pickers within a warehouse.

order picking

1. Operating at more than 1 metre from the ground

If operating at more than 1 metre from the ground, the machine must be lowered to 600mm or lower before moving forward or reversing to the next location. This is important as the stability of the load at height may be affected when moving.

The machine must then come to a stop before being raised to the desired working height again. All order pickers are fitted with limit switches to prevent them from driving at height. These switches must never be tampered with.

order picking at height

2. Safe travel height

The order picker must be lowered to a safe travel height before turning a corner or exiting an aisle. A safe travel height is clear of the ground but below axle height. This will ensure the order picker does not tip over.

3. Wearing a harness

When operating an order picker, a harness must be worn at all times and when moving, the handrail must be closed on the platform. This will prevent falls from the order picker.

order picking harness

4. Traffic management

Traffic management is another important aspect of safety when operating an order picker. Making people aware of areas of operation is the easiest way to avoid risks and this can be done by:

• Posting signs
• Erecting barriers
• Using a flag person to control the flow of traffic

5. Potential hazards

It is extremely important to ensure all work areas are free of potential hazards. The safest path to take when moving a load and operating the order picker should always be considered in order to prevent any accidents, injury to other personnel or damage to machinery, equipment and stock.

What to watch out for in the work area:

• What hazards are present?
• Where will you be required to stop?
• Where should you slow down?
• Where should you sound your horn?
• Will you need to reverse?
• Is ventilation adequate?
• Is there adequate lighting?
• Do you have room to move?
• What is a safe speed?
• Is the ground surface suitable?
• What clearance do you have?

order picker

Are these precautions carried out in your warehouse?

Did you find this blog post useful?

Why not subscribe to our Blog? Don't forget to,
this article too so others can find it! Thanks for reading.

Next entry: World’s Biggest Warehouses and Factories

Previous entry: What to consider when buying Tyre Handler Attachments


I’m hoping you can help me with this question.

What is the height limit or requirement for an operator of an Order Picker?

We noticed that people under 5ft tall have a difficulty driving these machines.

Juan Algarin
March 12, 2014 - 8:54 am

      Hi I have a question about a order picker/ operator. When up high can a order picker leave his platform and walk on a skid on the racking to get a box at the back?

July 08, 2015 - 1:58 am

Hi Lisa,

No, the operator of the order picker should never stand on the racking.

AAL Admin
July 28, 2015 - 11:01 am

        What is the safe number of occupants on a order picker, recently I was told I would need to ride with the operator of an order picker for two weeks to receive certification on the equipment, is two people on a order picker safe?

Chad spangler
August 08, 2015 - 8:13 am

          Is it safe to have two people on a orderpicker?

Chad spangler
August 08, 2015 - 8:15 am

      I have a question when on a order picker can I share the harness or do need my own & can I write my name on it..

Israel Rodriguez
May 02, 2016 - 9:30 am

              My question is I am 4’9 high is this a problem to operate an order picker? I try to operate one and it seems that I have trouble looking from the window.

May 23, 2016 - 8:08 pm

Very helpful.

October 03, 2016 - 3:52 pm

Making sure that others are aware of the order picker in action is so important. It helps keep not only the operator safe but also those who are just passing by if they are aware that they should be more cautious. If working in a warehouse or around a business building, it may help to send out a memo a few days before so everyone can be prepared.

Kendall Everett
October 12, 2016 - 8:48 am

When operating an order picker along the groung as in just moving it out of the way or driving it to put it on charge do you have to wear a safty harness?

Michael vella
February 15, 2017 - 7:04 pm

Is it safe to drive an order picker with two pallets? As in double stacked?

luis r
April 20, 2017 - 7:06 am

Hi Michael, it is never recommended to drive with pallets double stacked.

The only way to carry two pallets safely is using a side by side double pallet handling tynes.                       

May 08, 2017 - 4:27 pm

        I work for a warehouse distribution center .I drive a selector order picker brand Raymond .We use to use a caged carriage but now our new lead supervisor want us to use just an ordinary. Wood pallet.I feel very uncomfortable and unsafe using and standing in just a pallet .i. Want to know is this legal and safe practices and is it against regulations?             

June 01, 2017 - 9:53 am

                  How many feet can a picker be driven backwards? Is it safe to drive more that 20 feet?

Darlene Launas
June 28, 2017 - 8:14 am

                      do you have to wear a harness as soon as you step on the order picker in Alberta Canada?

July 06, 2017 - 8:39 am

Orderpickers seem very top heavy and unstable, are they as unsafe as they look?

August 13, 2017 - 2:40 pm

If I’m on a order picker at the top of a rack where the order picker can’t go any higher and another lift hits me is there a chance that I can flip?

Zilla zilla
January 17, 2018 - 10:04 pm

              Are there any rules or regulations about how high you’re allowed to lift the Picker up without a pallet on the back of the order selectors my current job forces us to lift above 10 foot without a pallet to put something up inside of a rack I feel that is too high even with the fall protection

joseph watkins
February 21, 2018 - 1:51 pm

    my question is when loading a pallet at height, how do you load to complete 1 level on the skid without standing on the skid to place each container.                   

May 16, 2018 - 5:14 am

Leave a comment