Putting Safety First With Your Pallet Rack Safety
By: Larry Rausch – Vice President of Sales and Marketing
We can’t talk enough about safety. That’s why you will find many posts on our blog regarding the subject. This post is intended to provide more useful tips on best practices when it comes to pallet rack safety. You can score an A+ safety record by following these simple five tips.
The safety of your warehouse workers should be of the utmost importance to you, and one area of safety you should always keep in mind is pallet racking safety. Your storage equipment is the essence of your warehouse, and it is what takes up most of the space in your warehouse. To ensure workers’ safety, annual rack safety inspections performed by rack safety experts are not enough. Internal inspections should be done on more regular intervals such as every week, every other week, or every month. Check for damage to the racks and be sure your workers are following the safety protocols you have put in place. Here are some tips to help employees adhere to safety guidelines.
Train Your Forklift Operators
There are many reasons why pallet racks may fail and cause damage; however, one common reason is untrained forklift operators. Operating machinery can be difficult since it usually involves making tight turns and carries the risk of bumping into nearby racks. OSHA mandates that all forklift operators be trained, and that is exactly what needs to happen if you want to keep your warehouse safe and accident-free.
Pay Attention To Your Warehouse Layout
It is important that the warehouse aisles are wide enough to safely navigate with any necessary machinery. While it’s tempting to make aisles small so that the warehouse can hold more merchandise, this can result in serious trouble when it makes it impossible to avoid bumping into pallets and pallet racking systems with equipment.
Properly Placed Loads
Pallet racks are like any other piece of equipment and should be used properly at all times. This includes placing loads on pallet racks in the proper way to ensure maximum safety and function. Items which have been placed on pallet racks should be properly secured to prevent them from moving and potentially causing damage or injury. Again, it is important to know the rack’s holding capacity so it is not overloaded—especially on the upper levels. Workers also need to know how to account for the dimensions and shape of the load they are taking to be stored. They should know which types of loads go on which types of racks and how they affect the rack’s load capacity.
Label Everything Correctly
If you walk away with only one thought from this post, this is it and we put in bold…..be sure each pallet rack is labeled with its correct weight capacity. Knowing capacity of the rack is critical. It is easy for racks to become overloaded and unstable. With the correct labeling, employees know how they should position loads and how many items they can place on any given rack. Labels give warehouse workers the vital information they need to know at a glance. Make sure the labels you are using are just as durable as the racks themselves. The weight capacity of a rack will not change over time, so make sure the label lasts the lifetime of the rack.
Inspection. Inspection. Inspection.
When conducting an inspection, each individual component of the rack should be taken into account. Front and rear posts, uprights, baseplates, beams, and braces can all sustain damage from forklifts. Put together a checklist of all areas which need to be regularly checked to ensure that nothing is overlooked. Even the smallest compromised area can be disastrous when it finally gives out.
Applying best practices to managing your warehouse pallet racks is key to ensuring worker safety and reducing your down time. Pay attention to warehouse layout, inspections and labeling. to mention a few. Ensuring your pallet rack safety protocols are being adhered to will maximize your uptime and reduce your headaches.
We hope this post provided you helpful information as it relates to pallet rack safety guidelines. To speak with one of our technical experts, please call 1-216-229-9300. And thank you for reading our post.