Top 5 Pallet Rack Safety Tips

Close up view of an empty palet

Top 5 Pallet Rack Safety Tips

Your warehouse is an essential part of your business. That’s why you need a pallet rack system that is well-organized, efficient, and, above all, safe for your employees.

Whether you are building a new warehouse, renovating an existing storage system, or taking stock of your current system, here are five tips to ensure pallet rack safety.

  1. Avoid overloading. Just because a load fits on a rack does not mean it is safe to store there. Even well-secured racks can become hazardous when overloaded.

Both the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) recommend that all storage racks display a plate or label with clear information about load capacity. Train employees to look for these limits and not to exceed them.

  1. Make routine inspections. You can catch any potential problems before they become dangerous by doing weekly inspections of your pallet racks.

Begin by standing at the end of each aisle. Look carefully for misalignment. Then, take a closer look for damaged uprights, loose footings, twisted supports, or dented or deflected beams. Examine the hardware, looking for any missing pins or safety clips. Make sure the frames are securely anchored to the floor. Rust also can be a sign of trouble.

  1. Replace or repair damaged racking. Don’t procrastinate if you spot any damage in your racking. It is essential to replace or repair it right away. In the meantime, unload the rack and red-tape or place a sign on it, so workers know not to use it. Keep in mind that a damaged rack can fall, triggering a collapse in an entire row and endangering both your inventory and your workers.
  2. Train employees on pallet rack safety. Since most accidents involving pallet racks are caused by impacts from forklifts or overloading, employee training is essential to a safe warehouse operation.

According to OSHA, about 85 people die, and nearly 35,000 people are seriously injured in forklift accidents each year. OSHA estimates that 70 percent of these accidents could be prevented with better training. An overturned forklift is the most common incident, accounting for about one-fourth of forklift accidents.

Forklift operators need training and certification in operating the machinery, loading racks properly, and understanding the weight limits of each rack. Employees also need to report and racking mishaps to management immediately so any needed repairs or replacements can take place.

  1. Anchor pallet racking. All pallet rack columns need to be securely anchored to the floor with concrete wedge anchors. Most racks require two at least anchors in each footplate to secure the racking to the concrete floor.

Make sure boltless beams are secured to the rack. Also, inspect the rivets to be sure they fit snugly, and that safety clips are in place.

A final word about pallet rack safety is to make sure you have the right storage system to meet the needs of your operation. At Speedrack West, we care deeply about safety. Let us help you design and install the best pallet racking system to meet your needs.

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