Seven Tips to Prevent Racking Damage or Employee Injuries

If not properly maintained, warehouse racking can cause safety issues for operations and employees. As a business owner you need to ensure racking structures are installed correctly, used safely and repaired when needed.

Making racking safety checks part of your workplace safety procedures is a good first step, but there are seven other steps that prevent racking damage or workplace injuries.

  1. Don’t overload the racking– This is the leading cause of racking collapse and one of the easiest things to prevent. When placing pallets in the racking structure make sure pallets don’t exceed the weight capacity of the weight notices. If you don’t know your capacity or think the racking may be overloaded, have an inspection done to make sure you are operating safely.
  2. Invest in rack protection- In the rush to make productivity goals, employees often hit racking with equipment such as forklifts. Column guards and frame protectors can be placed around the base of racking to avoid damage and minimize impact.
  3. Use the right equipment – Narrower aisles save space, but if you are not using the proper forklift for that aisle width it could cause lost productivity and safety issues for your operators. Equipment is built to interact with racking differently so make sure you have chosen the right fork trucks and order pickers etc. with the right aisle clearance for what you need to accomplish.
  4. Train your staff- Don’t overlook the importance of operator training and recertification. Forklift drivers who are well qualified have fewer impacts and cause less product damage. It is also important for employees working with racking to understand racking safety and weight loads.
  5. Improve visibility- Making sure your facility is well lit and that mirrors and other alerts are present to help operators see other people and vehicles, is an easy way to reduce collisions and potential damage to racking.
  6. Place pallets properly– Before storing pallets onto a racking system, it’s important to think through balancing and stacking loads properly. Heavy pallets are best supported by uprights or on the lower level. Too much pressure on the inside of beams or uneven weight distribution can create an unstable surface and an unsafe situation.
  7. Perform periodic inspections– Conducting regular inspections catches damage before it becomes dangerous and costly to repair. If any part of the racking has been in a collision it is important to identify the damaged sections so you can repair or remove that section and prevent potential injuries. If there has been any damage, make sure it’s reported, and all employees have been alerted as required by law.
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