When working around pallets and pallet racks, safety is a key concern. Because a pallet rack can be stacked very tall and can be full of heavy items, it presents a danger to anyone working around it, especially if the rack is old or hasn’t been maintained properly. There are a number of different safety considerations that a warehouse manager has to be aware of when it comes to pallet racks. Here are a few of those considerations and what should be done to make the workplace as safe as possible for your employees.
Pallet Rack Collapses
There are three common causes of a pallet rack falling over or collapsing. First, it’s overloaded or otherwise used in some way that it shouldn’t be, such as pallets that are too large being loaded onto a pallet rack. Part of the pallet may hang off the rack, which puts a lot of stress on the rack in addition to presenting a danger to people walking by. The second cause is a forklift operator crashing into the rack, causing it to fall. The third common cause of pallet rack collapse is simply not understanding the safety considerations that come with working around pallets. If employees understand all of the safety rules and regulations that come with working around pallets, causes one and two should be minimized.
In fact, many different safety issues can be avoided with proper training. Employees should know the capacity for each rack and never exceed it. They should also know how to properly place a load on rack beams and how to safety maneuver a forklift through the aisles. Those who have accidents should go through safety refresher training to make certain they understand all the rules and regulations.
Using the Wrong Racks
Not all pallet racks are created the same. Some are rated for more weight, while others are wider or longer and can accommodate different sized pallets. Using the wrong type of rack is a major safety issue, which is why it’s important to know what type of racks you need for your warehouse and to make certain they’re being used. If you are using old pallet racks or have the chance to acquire pallet racks for a low cost, make certain they can actually be used for what you need them for.
Make Sure Racks are Installed Correctly
Another safety consideration is proper installation. If your upright pallet racks aren’t bolted to the floor correctly, they’re going to present a major safety risk. When installing new racks, make certain they are correctly installed before using them. Also, do periodic inspections to make certain that the racks don’t need maintenance. Over time, bolts and rivets may come loose. Make sure that all pallet racks are maintained properly so accidents do not occur.
Replace Racks as Necessary
If you notice that a pallet rack is showing signs of damage or age, replace it as soon as possible. It may be costly and take time to unload and remove the old rack, but safety must always come first.