8 Common Signs of Pallet Rack Damage

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8 Common Signs of Pallet Rack Damage

No matter how carefully you design it and how well you train your employees, your busy warehouse is a dangerous environment. Forklifts are constantly moving inventory on and off the shelves, and sometimes they bump into the pallet racks.

These impacts – even the slight ones — can compromise the structural integrity of your racking system. That’s why it’s critical to the safety of your inventory and your employees that you perform weekly pallet rack inspections.

Significant damage can be hard to miss. For example, if you notice a broken, twisted, or bent column, you should repair or replace it immediately. However, some damage is more difficult to spot. Here are some common warning signs of rack damage.

  1. Poor alignment. As you take a look down the rows of racks, be on the lookout for any alignment problems. A crooked row can be a sign of forklift impact or improper pallet rack installation.
  2. Dents or loose components. Even small amounts of impact can cause beams, braces, or connectors to loosen and need repair or replacement.
  3. Buckled or bent uprights. Even a slight buckle or bend in an upright can weaken a rack’s strength. Use a straightedge to check for damage, and replace any damaged upright with deflection greater than 1/2″.
  4. Beam deflection. Look for excessive bowing or sagging in horizontal beams. This can be a sign that the beams are overloaded. Remove the load and repair or replace these beams.
  5. Bent braces. Horizontal and diagonal braces are commonly damaged when loading product onto the rack. Watch out for damage that is greater than 1/2” in any direction.
  6. Unanchored or torn baseplates. All racks should be bolted securely to the floor. Make sure all baseplates are welded to the column and anchored into the concrete. If you notice signs of damage, make necessary repairs or replacements immediately.
  7. Rust. Rust or corrosion can weaken the strength of a rack over time. Replace these damaged racks to avoid an accident. Installing pallet rack outdoors can make them particularly susceptible to rust.
  8. Missing beam safety clips. Examine the beams of your pallet rack system for missing safety clips. Replace with new safety clips and/or install drop pins immediately. Ensure safety clips are seated properly.

In addition to forklift damage, overloading is a significant cause of pallet rack wear and tear. To prolong the life of your racking system and to ensure the safety of your people and products, it’s essential to follow rack capacity guidelines. We recommend you place capacity signs on every rack.

Most rack damage tends to worsen over time. In other words, a minor problem that is not fixed can lead to a major problem. In addition to weekly inspections, employee training is critical to warehouse safety. Encourage your workers to report any issues they discover so that they can be taken care of right away.

Safety is our top concern at Speedrack West. We offer a line of inexpensive but highly effective safety products, including column guards, bollards, and aisle guards. Let us know how we can help you keep your warehouse running smoothly.

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