Pallet Racking Systems can be incredibly dangerous if not installed properly. Misuse or damage are some other factors that challenge the integrity of Racking Systems and make them susceptible to collapsing.
There are some solutions that you can adopt to ensure the safety of your goods as well as your employees:
- Never Storing More Than The Load Bearing Capacity of Each Shelf:
Each manufacturer publishes frame capacity charts. Applicable information should be prominently displayed on a placard at the end of each aisle. Never change original configuration or weight load without the approval of an engineer.
If an approved modification is made, remember to change the placards to reflect the new pallet racking specifications. Overloading can lead to beam deflection. According to International Racking Standards, the maximum allowable deflection is Length of the Beam/180 inches.
When a pallet rack is damaged, occasionally a cross member may be replaced with whatever piece of steel is convenient and held in place with whatever fasteners were handy at the time. As a non-engineered modification, this type of repair can be dangerous.
- Regularly Inspecting Your Racking Systems:
Damage to specific components of a pallet racking system is the most common and serious problem that can affect the integrity of the racking system. Most common components involved in damage are beams, upright columns and foot plate/anchors.
- Beams: Any beam with visible deformation or cracking of the beam end connectors should be unloaded and replaced. Be sure beams are fully engaged and installed with proper safety locks.
- Upright columns: Any rips, tears beyond the manufacturer limits need to be repaired or replaced. Any deflection gap greater than ½ inch in either the down aisle or front to back direction must be repaired or replaced. This also includes horizontal and diagonal struts.
- Foot plate/anchors: Any front and back foot plates which are torn, ripped or twisted past ½ inch square. Each footplate of the upright (front and back) must be anchored to the floor. Check for missing, loose or sheared anchors.
3. Using Fork-lift Trucks:
Fork-lift trucks (FLTs) are widely used in warehouses as they can eliminate some or all manual handling. However, FLTs are dangerous vehicles and can cause serious life-changing injuries and fatalities. Consequently, action should be taken to ensure the safe use of FLTs in the warehouses.
The racking in aisles must be organised to allow for safe access to goods and movement of FLTs. The aisles should be sufficiently wide, with adequate clearance room overhead. Staff should follow good housekeeping practices and ensure the aisles are kept free of obstructions. Pedestrians and vehicles must be able to circulate in a safe manner. The areas in which FLTs operate should, if possible, be separated from the areas where pedestrians are likely to be.
The safe use of FLTs requires:
- drivers to have received adequate training
- inspection and maintenance, to ensure the FLTs are in a safe condition, including providing drivers with a list of daily checks, including warning lights on the dashboard, deflated tyres, faulty seat belts and strange noises
- safe operating procedures, including arrangements to prevent overloading and prohibiting riding on the forks
- ensuring that the keys to the FLTs are always removed by the operator at the end of his/her shift and kept in a safe and secure place to prevent unauthorised use of the vehicle.
If your facility has a Pallet Racking System and mechanical handling equipment in use, the danger of harm to at least one part of the Pallet Racking System is exceptionally high. Pallet Racking Systems are intended for high performance and to help stack products that are more than their weight.
The Pallet Racking Systems are built according to precise specifications and standards that guarantee they perform within designed load applications corresponding to the configuration for many years.