When correctly used, warehouse racks can be an invaluable tool for efficient storage and organization. But just like with any other piece of industrial equipment, they can be dangerous if used improperly and unsafely.
To ensure the safety of both personnel and property, it is important to make sure there are clear guidelines regarding how the warehouse racks system may be used.
Avoiding certain activities with your warehouse racks might help you prevent a costly accident or injury. Potential dangers of misusing warehouse racks include:
Proper weight distribution is crucial when loading and unloading products onto warehouse shelving racks. Not only does this ensure the overall security of the goods, but it also helps to prevent serious injuries or fatalities from occurring due to rack collapse.
Each rack has a maximum weight limit that must be adhered to at all times. The Rack Manufacturers Institute (RMI) recommends clearly displaying load plaques in the racking system, indicating the maximum load capacity per pallet and per bay. You should also conduct regular inspections to detect any signs of damage caused by overloading.
Galvanized Pallet Racks from Shelving + Rack Systems are a great heavy-duty warehouse pallet rack option for facilities that require a higher load capacity per bay. These red steel selective pallet rack systems can handle loads up to 30,580 lbs. and allow businesses to use vertical space in their facilities.
Providing Inadequate Training and Education for Workers
Employers must take the necessary steps to ensure their workers are adequately trained and educated on the proper usage of their storage system and material handling equipment.
This includes teaching them how to safely stack items without overloading sections and how to safely disassemble components when necessary. It should also include how to correctly identify damaged components or potential hazards that might need repair or replacement.
This is not only essential for the safety of their personnel, but it can also lead to increased efficiency and productivity.
Using Damaged or Faulty Racks
It is essential for businesses to ensure their racks remain in optimal condition. Any damage or faulty parts can cause them to become unstable, leading to an increased safety risk both for workers and inventory.
Failure to inspect and maintain warehouse storage racks consistently can result in numerous hazardous situations. For example, collapsed shelves could easily cause heavy items to fall onto workers or customers nearby, resulting in serious injuries or even death.
The RMI recommends ongoing in-house inspections by a trained member of staff. This can occur weekly or monthly, and the inspector should check for signs of damage due to forklift collisions, corrosion, excessive beam deflection, and correct footplate attachment. Compile a thorough checklist of items for inspection.
You should also hire a licensed, trained professional rack engineer to perform annual rack inspections and after seismic activity.
Improperly Securing Items on Racks
Proactively preventing potential accidents and damage is vital to improving workplace safety. Securing items on warehouse racks is a simple and effective way to reduce the risk of warehouse accidents without adversely impacting your operation’s workflow and productivity.
To secure pallets to your racking system, there are numerous fastening methods available designed for different items. Fastening methods should include bolts or screws, straps or bands, and wire ties.
Taking the extra to ensure each item is securely fastened helps ensure they stay put, even during periods of movement or vibration.
At Shelving + Rack Systems, we carry numerous safety options for your racking system. Our pallet rack guards are crafted from durable steel wire mesh, which prevents loose items from falling without inhibiting airflow and fire suppression systems.
Not Anchoring Your Pallet Rack System
Footplates and bolts are crucial for the storage racking system’s stability. Anchors offer resistance against horizontal displacements and uplift at the column’s base. A forklift can easily lift an unanchored pallet rack accidentally while handling inventory or due to an accidental impact.
According to the ANSI/RMI MH16.1, each rack column must be secured with at least one anchor, and each footplate should be bolted to the floor. Your racking system may require additional footplates, depending on the manufacturer’s design.
Safety is a Priority at Shelving + Rack Systems
At Shelving + Rack Systems, we believe that safety should always be the highest priority in a warehouse setting. That’s why we provide industry-leading shelving and rack systems built to last.
When you put safety first with Shelving + Rack Systems, you can have peace of mind knowing you’re receiving quality shelving and rack systems designed with employee safety in mind. Contact us today at (800) 589-7225 for more information.