Pallet Racking Safety Guidelines

Pallet racking is a storage method where goods are stored in horizontal pallets or skids which are on multiple levels all depending on the height of your warehouse.

This is a risky affair if you factor in the heights involved and the weights of the pallets, as such one ought to know what to look for and what to do.

1 Specifications

Different goods have different racking requirements. After, all steel and wood or paint do not have the same racking needs.

Therefore, rackings used in workspaces should be specifically designed to meet the requirements of the goods to be stored, i.e. weight, shape, and size. Emergency access and manual handling activities should be factored in the layout.

Other storage problems are due to the user no supplying correct and complete storage requirements to the supplier. Always ensure you provide the following information:

  • Floor properties and building structure
  • Equipment to be used, i.e. handling equipment
  • Information about planned changes and positioning of sprinklers
  • Goods to be stored and how they are packed

2 Health and Safety

Costs of injuries and subsequent employees from the workplace are on the rise and are costing most companies a fortune. As such health and safety of employees can no longer be ignored, health plus safety equate to profit.

A quarter of significant injuries of employees who work in warehouses is from slip and trip accidents. I know, who thought that these simple accidents could lead to such major injuries?

By taking cost effective and often simple precautions reduces these accidents by a huge margin. These precautions can be as simple as warning signs to using protective gears or reducing access to certain people only.

Tip: Safety begins at installation. Therefore ensure your pallet racks are installed correctly, and handling equipment is well designed.

3 Spacing and clearances

Pallet rackings should provide enough spacing laterally and vertically. Laterally between pallet loads and vertically between ballets and the bottom of the high beam. It should also factor in enough space for handling equipment to move between the tracks.

Maintain operating clearances for good working practices. Reducing the spacing may compromise the integrity of the structure.

4 Protection

Careless use of handling equipment can damage the storage components compromising its integrity. Minor injuries can significantly reduce the safe carrying load of the upright.

Where damage is likely to occur, apply protectors to the uprights, the protectors should be specified. Layouts should be designed to ensure aisles have adequate space while still considering space for the defenders. Floor mounted protectors are the most common protectors and are fixed just to the rack frame.

5 Flooring

Floors of a warehouse should be extremely flat. The levels should be designed to accommodate the imposed loads. It should also provide floor fixings to be used. For a pre-existing warehouse floor, seek sufficient information to determine the maximum load the floor can accommodate without deforming it. Floor conditions should also be pre-determined for the selection of handling equipment.

6 Proper installation

Safety begins at the onset. An installation that is.

It is important that the people handling the installation are properly trained and with a wealth of experience. Beyond that, there should be proper supervision and oversight to ensure all steps and considerations are factored in. Monitoring also provides that the personnel installing the systems are in good working conditions and also prevent injuries.

The personnel should be SEIR (Storage Equipment Installers Registration scheme) registered.

7 Regular inspection

It is a requirement that warehouses and plants are risk-free. This calls for the constant and periodic review.

Reviews will help identify damaged and weak points in the racks. By doing so, management can take the proper steps towards restoring and repairing the damaged tracks. It is important to visit a professional contractor to do the inspection which ensures the integrity of the system.

There are some considerations as you conduct an inspection.

  • Beams- are the beams overloaded? Are the welds overloaded? Or has a shaft popped out of its upright?
  • Uprights and footplates- some of the considerations are damages to the uprights if the splices are in perfect condition etc.
  • Braces and

8 Reporting damages and unsafe conditions

Safety risks, i.e. damage and unsafe working conditions should be reported to management with immediate effect. This is to assess the extent of the damage and classify it.

9 Precautions

As management take the necessary precautions to prevent injuries. Along passageways, proper preventive measures should be taken to preventing goods from falling on personnel.

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