How Do You Maintain A Safe Rack System?
Rack systems should be inspected by a qualified rack system inspector at least once a year, more often if there is frequent system damage. Results of the inspections should be documented and maintained for future reference. While a visual inspection will show obviously damaged it is very important to follow a few simple steps.
These 5 tips will help keep your rack system safe:
- Never exceed the rack capacity displayed on the capacity sign:
End of Aisle Capacity plaques should be provided by the rack manufacturer and hung in a clearly visible place at the end of each aisle. These show both the load capacity and approved beam spacing configuration.
- Always consult a qualified engineer before making any alterations or reconfigurations to your rack system:
Each rack system is designed for a very specific application to be used in a very specific manner. Any alterations to the rack system must be reviewed and approved by a qualified rack engineer to ensure safety. Even a slight change in beam levels can cause a system to become unsafe.
- Ensure that loads are placed squarely on the rack system and appropriately unitized:
Forklift drivers should be trained to place the pallets correctly on the frames so that there is no overhang. When loading onto wire deck, make sure the pallet is also supported by the beams.
- Use appropriate safety accessories throughout the rack system:
There are a number of accessories that can be used to provide additional safety in the warehouse. Safety netting will prevent items from falling off the rack. Column protector and end of aisle guards protect uprights from forklift damage.
- Don’t procrastinate - Repair Damage Immediately!
Don’t assume that because the rack has not failed yet, the damage to the system is not important. Rack failures can be sudden and catastrophic, employee life and safety must be front and center.
Most importantly, make sure everyone in the warehouse is aware of the importance of safety and is properly trained on how to move materials in and out of the rack system. A regularly inspected and maintained rack system will provide many years of safe use.