Warehouse Safety Netting vs. Pallet Rack Backing

Warehouse Safety Netting

Ensuring safety in a warehouse isn’t just about checking boxes; it’s about choosing the right tools for the job. Safety netting and pallet rack backing are two leading solutions to protect your inventory and personnel.

Each offers numerous advantages, but knowing the difference between the two is essential to determine which is best for your facility’s needs. So, if you want to upgrade your warehouse safety system, our guide can provide all the information you need to find the ideal accessories to improve your company’s storage space.

What is Warehouse Safety Netting?

Warehouse safety netting is a protective solution designed to create a barrier between stored items on pallet racks and open aisles or work areas. Made from rugged materials like nylon mesh, these nets can stand up to the hustle and bustle of busy warehouses, offering benefits such as:

  • Fall prevention: It’s used to keep items from falling off the shelves, ensuring they don’t hurt anyone or cause accidents in workspaces or pedestrian pathways.
  • Visibility: Safety netting is designed to be transparent, allowing for clear visibility of items on the racks. This is crucial in warehouses where visual inventory management is essential.
  • Versatility: Safety netting can be adapted to various rack types and configurations, making it a versatile safety solution for different warehouse layouts.

However, they have some potential drawbacks too:

  • Limited impact resistance: Safety netting might struggle to catch larger or heavier items, depending on how it’s designed and installed. These might include machinery parts, bulk containers of liquids, oversized tools, or heavy-duty pallets of building materials.
  • Time-consuming installation: Setting up safety netting can be time-consuming, and getting it right matters; poor installation can prevent it from working correctly. It’s best to have a professional handle the installation to ensure it meets your warehouse safety standards.

At Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc., we offer Pallet Rack Guard Net Systems that provide enhanced safety and protection for your pallet rack system. Our guard nets can be installed in flue spaces or on the back side of racks where you don’t need regular access.

Featuring 100% nylon mesh with strong 5⁄16″ poly rope binding, these pallet rack guard nets offer an economical solution to secure your warehouse and protect your employees and inventory.

What is Pallet Rack Backing?

Pallet rack backing is a system that is installed directly onto the back of pallet racks, effectively enclosing the storage area. Typically made from materials like wire mesh or steel, it forms a sturdy barrier at the rear of the racks, offering several advantages:

  • Comprehensive protection: Rack backing encloses the entire storage area. This ensures all items on the rack are contained, reducing the risk of anything falling out.
  • Increased load capacity: By serving as a backstop for items, pallet rack backing can improve the overall load capacity of your racks by preventing overhangs or uneven loading.
  • Quick installation: Installing rack backing tends to be a more straightforward process compared to safety netting. While safety netting may require precise positioning and adjustments to ensure its effectiveness, rack backing usually comes with predefined sizes and fittings that align easily with standard rack structures. This often means less guesswork, fewer adjustments, a faster installation time, and lower labor costs for rack backing.

However, pallet rack backing does come with its own set of disadvantages:

  • Reduced visibility: Pallet rack backing boosts safety but can block the view of items on the shelves. This makes performing inventory checks, stock rotations, or identifying specific items harder.
  • Higher initial cost: The initial investment for pallet rack backing, including materials and installation, may be higher than safety netting.

Pallet Rack Guarding

Our Pallet Rack Guarding at Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc., is made from heavy welded wire mesh with a steel angle frame, ensuring your items remain secure while maintaining essential visibility and airflow. It also allows maximum access to sprinkler or fire suppression systems, ensuring your storage system complies with local fire codes.

Comparison Between Warehouse Safety Netting and Pallet Rack Backing

Safety netting and backing can boost the safety of your warehouse. However, comparing the two options can help you decide which is best for your facility. Some important comparisons include:

Type of Inventory

Warehouses that frequently change their layout or have variable stock sizes may benefit from the adaptability of safety netting. Facilities that don’t change their rack configurations often might find the permanence and stability of pallet rack backing more suitable.

Additionally, if your warehouse stores expensive or fragile items, the all-around protection pallet rack backing provides may make it a better investment.


Safety netting is often more wallet-friendly upfront, especially for smaller or more flexible warehouse setups. However, it may require periodic maintenance or replacements due to wear, which can add costs over time.

While the initial cost of pallet rack backing is higher, its durability can offer long-term value with minimal maintenance. It’s a solid investment for larger warehouses and those with high-value inventory, ensuring consistent protection and potentially reducing costs in the long run.

Durability and Maintenance

In terms of durability, safety netting can be strong, but it might be susceptible to wear and tear over time, especially if frequently strained by falling objects. Maintenance can involve patching up minor damage or entirely replacing sections that have worn out.

Pallet rack backing is less likely to sustain damage from daily operations, including impact from forklifts and other materials handling equipment. It can also withstand the impact of falling heavier items better than netting. Maintenance needs are generally minimal, with occasional checks for any signs of wear or structural issues.

Find the Right Safety Solution for Your Warehouse

Choosing the right safety solution for your warehouse is a critical decision that impacts the well-being of your employees and the integrity of your inventory. The choice between warehouse safety netting vs. pallet rack backing depends on your specific needs, priorities, and budget.

At SRS-i, our experienced team can provide professional guidance on the best safety solution for your warehouse. Contact us today at (800) 589-7225 to speak with a team member and ensure that your warehouse remains a secure and efficient space for all your operations.