Some of the Most Common (and Avoidable) Pallet Rack Safety Hazards

February 12, 2019

Pallet racks are a critical part of warehouse storage. However, you’ll typically find that these racking systems are generally neglected after they’re installed. A lack of care and maintenance for these systems can, over time, create some potentially dangerous or even deadly occupational and safety hazards, as well as create the potential for some significant damage to inventory and equipment.

To prevent these issues from arising, it is important to implement comprehensive pallet racking system inspections and assessments. Businesses can increase safety quite a bit by being proactive about addressing some of the most common and avoidable pallet rack safety hazards that exist in warehouses and storage facilities. This also helps businesses to adhere to mandatory guidelines set by OSHA, violations of which can result in some fines and other issues.

Here are five examples of some of the most common industrial pallet rack safety hazards you should watch for in your storage facility:

  • Misaligned racking: If racking is not kept in proper alignment, there is an elevated potential for collapse or failure of the pallet racking system. As you inspect your pallet racking, use the instructions provided by the manufacturer for checking for proper alignment of the racks. They should all be plum and level to provide the safest storage possible.
  • Loose floor fittings: Sometimes floor fittings can come loose, which could result in unstable pallet racking. OSHA makes it very clear in its shelving guidelines that all rack columns should be bottom-anchored to the floor with custom base plates that are secured with anchor bolts. It’s worth your while to go around your facility every once in a while to check and make sure that all floor fittings are snug and secure.
  • Damage to the pallet rack: The most common cause of damage to industrial pallet rack systems is collisions with a lift truck. To prevent this from occurring, you should always make sure you have sufficient clearance space and clear aisles so you can operate the lift truck without worrying about colliding with the shelving system. Make sure employees promptly report any collisions, even if the observable damage is minor, so you can analyze the damaged area and take any steps necessary to ensure its safety and continued structural integrity.
  • Overstocked racking systems: You must make sure you know the weight capacity of your racking system so you do not overstock the shelves with your inventory. Overloaded racks can become dangerous quickly, and could potentially collapse. The shelving should come with manufacturer instructions that include information such as the weight capacity of the system.
  • Unsuitable forklifts: You should make sure you’re using material handling equipment and pallet jacks that are the proper size and type for your needs in your warehouse. Otherwise, there’s a chance you’ll damage your shelving and your inventory.

For more information about some of the most common safety hazards with pallet rack systems and how you can avoid them, contact the experts at Industrial Shelving USA today. We look forward to working with you soon!

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