Ways to Avoid Pallet Rack Failure
Authored by Pat McAssey
May 15, 2014
Forklifts are one of the most common causes of destruction in a warehouse facility, as they are constantly weaving through aisles upon aisles of pallet racks. One little mistake can cause the forklift to go careening into a support beam, causing a domino like effect of damage to the majority of the racking within the facility.
The cost of an accident like this far surpasses the cost of ensuring it doesn’t with simple safety procedures. Regular inspection of racking should be mandatory, which will point out any damaged or weakened points before it becomes a problem. This includes looking at the entire structure from top to bottom, not just the base. The base is the most commonly and easily affected portion of the racking, but there can be just as many concerns up above.
You also want to inspect the entire aisle by standing at one end and looking down the length of the racking. If you noticed it isn’t perfectly straight, or if you notice any leaning, these could potentially be a red flag. It is also important to walk down each aisle and check for damage to any components, and check for safety locks on the beams.
Aside from proper inspection, operators of forklifts and other lift equipment should be properly trained to minimize the risk of an accident. OSHA actually requires training of all forklift operators, and requires that the employer have a record of all certified operators. However, there is currently no test or license required.
Some accessories for your pallet racking system can also come in handy for increasing its durability. Column protectors can be used to protect the uprights from compromising forklift damage, although if one were to get hit the upright should be inspected and the protector should be replaced if damaged. Column protectors are only there to help maintain structural integrity by securing to the upright and the floor, and are not rated for forklift hits.
Similar to column protectors, end of aisle guards are also utilized with pallet racking. End of aisle guards are secured to the uprights of the racking, and they help prevent damage associated with lift equipment. There are also floor guides, which are secured to the floor and act as a guide for forklifts down the aisles. Row spacers can also be utilized to ensure uniform spacing between each row of pallet racking. All of these pallet racking accessories are very inexpensive when compared to the cost of a collapse and loss of inventory.
If you are unsure how to perform a proper pallet rack inspection, feel free to give ASI a call. We have been buying and selling quality used pallet racking for almost 25 years, and we know what to look for to determine that. We would be more than happy to come to your facility and walk you through a proper inspection of your pallet rack, and we can also supply you with your present or future racking needs.