Should Pallet Racks Be Bolted to the Floor?

Bolted Pallet Racks

When working in warehouses, safety is, of course, a paramount concern. Bolting pallet racks to the floor is one way to improve warehouse safety for all workers.

What is pallet racking?

Ever since they were patented in the 1940s, pallet racking has been used in the industrial sector to maximize storage space and improve product selectivity. Today, it is the most popular system used in warehouses and other facilities.

There are many forms of pallet racking, and each one is suited to different areas of industry. For example, the popular selective pallet racking works best for businesses who are interested in maximizing their storage space. A more specialized option, drive-in racks, are used by companies that deal primarily with non-perishable items, or items with low turnover. There’s a form of pallet racking that is a perfect fit for every business looking to improve its efficiency and storage capabilities.

Pallet rack safety

Before you construct your pallet racks, however, it is essential to consider safety measures that must be taken to ensure the well-being of workers. When installing new shelving, purchase additional safety accessories to prevent damage during the shelving’s installation and subsequent use. When installing pallet racks, you must address several potential safety concerns to minimize risk and protect your business.

The first of these concerns is the layout of the warehouse where the company needs its industrial shelving. Considering the type of inventory stocked, fulfillment rates, turnover, and other relevant factors are important when gauging safety accessory needs. Safety guard rails are a popular choice for protection against layout-related accidents.

Another concern to take into account before construction is the protection of the pallet rack’s upright posts. You can accomplish this with a number of accessories designed to protect these weight-bearing columns from collision damage.

There are a large number of other safety options available, such as safety bars, backstop beams, rub rails, guide angles, et cetera. However, there is one safety accessory you should never neglect: Floor bolts.

Why bolt the pallet racking to the floor?

First and foremost, the Rack Manufacturers’ Institute (RMI) clearly specifies in its American National Standards that all columns of pallet racks should be anchored and secured to the floor with bolts. The RMI Standards also state that in addition to the bolts, a base plate (sometimes referred to as a foot plate) is necessary as well. Simply put, it is best practice to comply with the Standards.

Bolting pallet racks to the floor

The RMI put these regulations and specifications into their Standards to make sure pallet racks do not collapse. These bolts are in place for multiple reasons.

First, in the event of a natural disaster such as seismic activity (for example, an earthquake), the floor bolts and base plates will keep the pallet racks sturdy and standing, even if there are other damages to the building housing the pallet racks.

Second, these plates and bolts are secured to make sure the pallet racks will also stay standing in the event of a forceful man-made impact, such as a forklift colliding with a column of the pallet rack.

These precautions are necessary for both the safety of the merchandise housed within the pallet racks and the safety of any people who might be present if one of these events occurs.

Final thoughts

It is essential to consult with your rack manufacturer or professional engineer who can help you determine the amount and size of bolts necessary for your pallet racking, as well as determine specifics about the holes in the base plates. Additionally, you must take special care when installing anchor bolts and plates near slab expansion joints as well as when replacing damaged anchor bolts to ensure safety for all involved.

Anchor bolts and base plates are necessary for installing pallet racking and for keeping your workers, your merchandise, and your business safe from harm.