3 Considerations When Adding Pallet Racks to Your Mezzanine

Pallet Racks with Mezzanine

A mezzanine offers a cost-efficient way to increase your storage capacity and is an excellent alternative to warehouse expansion or renting another storage facility.

However, if you’re interested in adding pallets to your mezzanine to increase the available floor space, there are three essential considerations to help you decide whether this option is right for your business. Discover the different types of mezzanines available and how you can integrate them into your business.

Why a Mezzanine?

A mezzanine is an elevated platform or flooring section located between the ground floor and the ceiling inside a warehouse facility or factory. Mezzanines serve multiple purposes, from observation and increased storage capacity to space for offices.

Many warehouses have unused or underused vertical space available for storage purposes. At the same time, floor space is often limited. By installing a mezzanine, you can increase the storage space of your warehouse and free up aisle space. A mezzanine can also create additional office space in a confined workplace.

Types of Mezzanines

There are several types of mezzanines available to warehouses and distribution centers:

Freestanding mezzanines

A freestanding mezzanine isn’t necessarily attached directly to the building. It provides a versatile working platform for shelving, pallet racking, or other purposes.

Building column mezzanines

In building column mezzanines, the vertical load-bearing structures of the warehouse facility act as the anchor for the platform.

Rack mezzanines

In a rack mezzanine, pallet racking systems on the ground floor support the platform above. This can be an ideal solution for increasing usable warehouse space depending on load capacities.

Shelving mezzanines

Like the rack variety, shelving mezzanines use industrial shelving units as the support structure. Heavy-duty structural steel shelving is necessary for this application, as it increases the system’s strength.

Three Considerations When Choosing a Mezzanine

The three most important considerations for the warehouse manager seeking to implement a pallet rack mezzanine include:

1. How accessible is your mezzanine structure?

Mezzanine Structure

Every pallet rack mezzanine system should be accessible from several points. This is one of the most important considerations because it affects warehouse safety and the transport of goods. Access solutions include lifts, staircases, and conveyor belts. For personnel access alone, a staircase may be sufficient.

Personnel access

If you have an existing mezzanine installed in your facility, stairways are an optimal access method for personnel. Bluff’s Stairways and Landings are versatile and comply with OSHA and IBC (International Building Code) requirements, depending on the variant. You can integrate these stairways with mezzanines and conveyor systems.

Catwalk systems

Once you have a mezzanine installed in your warehouse, you can choose from several flooring options, including catwalk systems attached to shelving upright frames. This increases access, mobility, and total floor space.

2. How safe is the system?

Safety is one of the most essential considerations in a warehouse or factory environment. However, there may be specialized safety requirements when implementing an elevated work platform, such as a mezzanine, with catwalks. These include the placement of sprinkler systems for adequate fire protection and evacuation points for workers.

However, you also need to account for the load-bearing capacity of the supporting pallet racks. Can the pallet racks on the ground floor support the weight of pallet racks on your mezzanine? The consequences of a rack collapse can be catastrophic, so it’s crucial to consider these factors and consult your rack supplier/manufacturer and an engineer before loading these systems.

Mezzanine work platforms require special safeguards for personnel. These include the following:

Mezzanine fabric gate

Pallet gates protect workers from injury due to falls when loading and unloading goods. Pallet safety gates are also crucial for pallet drop areas. Pallet drop zones are the primary areas where the pallets are unloaded before being loaded into the mezzanine racking system.

“Save”ty Yellow Products offers a retractable OSHA-compliant Mezzanine Fabric Gate which uses a high-strength PVC mesh with a 1,000 lb. tear rating to provide fall protection to workers. You’ll need a 58” opening to install this product.

Warehouse safety guard rail system

Available in two- or single-rail variants, the Warehouse Safety Guard Rail System, manufactured by Handle It, is suitable for a wide variety of applications. Protect your personnel and inventory with the impact-tested heavy-duty steel construction and high-visibility powder-coated finish.

3. Value

Pallet rack mezzanines allow you to take advantage of overhead space, increasing pallet storage capacity and value per square foot. However, as modular systems, many mezzanines do not require permanent modification to your warehouse facility, reducing fixed costs. The result is that installing a mezzanine system provides a worthwhile return on investment.

If your warehouse needs additional office space, a mezzanine can provide a platform for modular offices. This allows you to increase your administrative areas without re-allocating valuable floor space needed for inventory, inspection, product assembly, or shipping and receiving.

This also eliminates the costs of leasing external office space, improving your cash flow.

Select the Best Pallet Rack Mezzanine for Your Needs

At Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc., our knowledgeable staff can help you decide how best to incorporate a pallet rack mezzanine into your existing or planned warehouse facility.

You can also browse our catalog for ideas on how to increase the efficiency of your business. If you’d like to discuss custom designs, give us a call at (800) 589-7225.