Pallet racking is an essential part of any warehouse and is the most efficient method of optimising storage space. By design, it is capable of bearing tons of equipment for long periods of time. However, such structures carry with them a risk of harm if managed incorrectly. To avoid accidents and ensure your pallet racking is up to standard, follow these simple safety solutions.
1. Adhere to the Load Limits
Whilst it’s true that pallet racking can help you to stack heavy equipment high in your warehouse, precautions should be taken when doing so. A large proportion of accidents are caused by overloading racking units. To avoid such hazards, follow the maximum weight limits closely ensuring that the weight limit is calculated precisely for each unit. These can vary depending on the height and depth of each frame. If in doubt always double check. Remember that going over the load limit, even by the smallest margin, could be fatal.
2. Do Regular Pallet Racking Inspections
Nobody enjoys inspecting and auditing equipment. However, doing so ensures a safer workplace. By pre-emptively checking pallet racking you can avoid many unnecessary accidents. When doing so, check each unit frame by frame to ensure that there aren’t any weaknesses throughout and that there hasn’t been any damage caused due to forklifts or pressure from the loaded pallets.
3. Never Underestimate Health and Safety Training
Employees are the core of any business. However, a team that lacks the relevant health and safety knowledge could be more of a hindrance than a helping hand. Every member should be well-versed and understand the risks involved with pallet racking. This should often include basic common knowledge rules such as informing each team member of the risks involved in climbing up pallet racking and why not to do it. Whilst information like this seems fairly straightforward it’s always best to be certain people are aware instead of making assumptions.
4. Provide adequate clearance
We’ve already discussed the risks of overloading a structure, but space also becomes an important factor to consider when creating a safer workplace. By stacking pallets too high, you ignore a basic level of operating clearance needed to ensure safe practice. This can result not only in damage to the pallet racking itself but also the pallets and goods being stored. It may seem like a good idea to save space but a lack of clearance results in a far more time-consuming process for the forklift operator. This in turn creates a less efficient workflow.
5. Check Flooring First
Whenever installing pallet racking it’s important to not only follow the installation guidelines closely but also to ensure that the floor underneath is up to the job. With new warehouses, this involves checking the floor for any weaknesses that it won’t buckle or warp under immense stress. A warped floor can result in an unsteady surface for the pallet racking – resulting in the racking falling out of alignment. Deformation to the floor can also result in a hazardous environment when driving a forklift. Make sure to inspect the floor for any signs of weakness.
This list provides just a few examples of the ways you can maintain a safer workplace and is not exhaustive. You can view our full range of pallet racking here. Ring us on 01661 853198 if you require any help or specialist solutions.