As a warehouse operator, you are well aware that pallet racking is an integral part of running your business at a profit. Pallet racking is arguably the most efficient form of warehouse storage available today – the system is capable of holding and storing many tons of palletized goods with a minimum footprint. This is incredibly important in this day and age where your business is likely paying top dollar for industrial space.
How does pallet racking help your business?
The use of pallet shelves benefits your warehousing facility immensely, but as any other piece of industrial equipment, it requires safe use and adequate maintenance in order to prevent accidents and injuries in the workplace. Portland-based Speedrack West says that any installation, repair, or maintenance of pallet racking and shelving at any facility must be carried out by specialists.
Keeping staff safe and equipment in good working order should always be a top priority. So what can you do to maintain a clean health and safety record?
Pallet Racking – Basics of Safe Use
First, let’s look at storage house pallet racking.
Warehouse racking is a formidable piece of kit of substantial proportions and weight. A combination of heavy, vertically stored loads and everyday use of mechanized lifting equipment in close proximity to these structures commands high attention for their safe use. Reducing the risk of potential accidents and injuries in a warehouse should focus on three areas:
- Pallet racking must be engineered, constructed, and loaded correctly as per manufacturer guidelines; absolutely no corner cutting.
- A ‘safety-first’ work culture must be developed and maintained among warehouse staff.
- There should be regular safety inspections on all racking/shelves as well as a detailed log of any issues and regular repair and maintenance schedules.
Following the safety and operational instructions of the manufacturer of the pallet racking is crucial. Every licensed fabricator/installer must supply you with detailed usage documentation outlining safe load bearing, fixed schedule maintenance windows, risk-prone areas, etc. Remember – safety regulations concerning the use of pallet shelves in a warehouse are subject to the law.
Modifications and Safety Signage
Pallet racking can be altered to cover specific requirements a warehouse may develop. For instance, you can opt to have shelves lowered or raised, thus increasing or decreasing storage volume. You can also carry out changes to beam levels, but as these are load-bearing parts of the structure, alterations should only be done by a specialist.
In order to keep your staff safe at work, adequate signage is vital for risk-free pallet shelves usage. Normally, all load-bearing beams of warehouse racking, including shelves, should display clear signage indicating safe load limits and other guidelines for employees to follow. Think handling clearances between loads and racking frames here.
Here’s what you should consider in your efforts to make racking shelves safe to work with:
- Any type of pallet racking must be used in accordance to manufacturer’s official safety regulations – check the paperwork!
- All load-bearing beams should be fitted with locks to prevent accidental lifting of the beam when a pallet below is lifted.
- Load handling clearances must be set and enforced during all operations – information on load clearances is available by the constructor – again, refer to your tech spec documents.
- Changes to beam levels must correspond to the load-bearing tolerances listed in the manufacturer’s safety documentation – make sure your staff are aware of these.
- Set and enforce a safe forklift driving limit in order to minimize the number of knocks the shelves receive from forklifts during operation.
Keeping a clean health and safety bill is absolutely crucial for a business. Therefore, investing in the right practices will yield returns in all departments. Do not underestimate its importance!