Let’s face it, a lot of accidents occur in warehouse environments if safety procedures are not followed. Some of the most common issues are caused by overloaded pallet racks. Unfortunately, accidents involving pallets can be quite dangerous and sometimes they’re life threatening. This is especially true when loads fall. The five pallet racking tips below can help you mitigate these types of issues.
1. Adhere to Capacity Limits
When purchasing a new pallet rack, the first thing you’ll need to do is get an understanding of the capacity for the rack and all other weight issues that could create a problem. You can ensure adherence to limits by making sure the capacity information is clearly posted and visible by all employees. It needs to both state the limits and encourage everyone’s adherence. In addition to overloading, sometimes there are issues with incorrect loading. The worse case scenario is to find out that a pallet rack was incorrectly loaded during an earthquake hits.
When considering how to list the capacity, remember that there is an upright limit in addition to the weight limit. This information can be obtained from the manufacturer of the racks. When making a purchase, it’s important to communicate what will be stored on the racks and the manner in which it will be stored. Communicating effectively during the purchase process and properly listing the capacity limits can actually save a person’s life.
2. Conduct Inspections
Conducting routine inspections is an important part of pallet rack management. This is something that should occur at least once a month, if not more often. Consider conducting more frequent inspections as a walk through and thorough inspections that involve identifying and assessing damage that might be harder to detect. You’ll want to look for damaged uprights, overloaded beams and damaged column protectors, among other issues. You should also check to see if there are any beam clips, braces or accessories missing.
A good way to ensure employees are willing to report pallet rack issues is by making sure there is no retribution for reporting mistakes. Even the most seasoned and qualified forklift driver can have an accident. When there is a work environment where employees fear losing their jobs for making a mistake, they are less likely to report problems, which increases a company’s risk and liability.
3. Use Steel Guardrails
In an environment where there is a lot of forklift traffic, it’s imperative that you have steel guardrails to ensure the shelves are stable. You can use upright protectors and bottom protectors to prevent damage. There is a greater chance of damage occurring in busy and fast-paced environments, especially around the ends and corners of racks. When steel guardrails are used, you significantly reduce the likelihood of a forklift incident.
4. Ensure Proper Loading
The best way to make sure loads are handled properly is by ensuring effective training is provided. Forklift drivers should be taught how to place pallets in the center of racks with uniformity at all times. The goal is to have loads that are distributed evenly. You should also have guidelines and procedures for the number of rows that are allowed on each rack based on capacity limits. Training should be provided on a regular basis since it’s known to reduce injuries.
5. Get Help with Rack Changes
In the event that you need to make rack changes, it’s best to contact an expert that understands what’s required. It might be tempting to handle rack changes on your own, but it’s not as easy as it might seem. You’ll need to ensure changes align with safety regulations and requirements. More importantly, it’s common for accidents to occur when pallet racks are not upgraded properly. This includes having the right safety clips and making sure all of the rivets are in place.
Pallet racking GC is risky business if you don’t have the knowledge and expertise to get the job done right. It’s worth the time and effort that it takes to promote safety and provide the necessary resources to ensure everyone is equipped to perform related tasks effectively.