Damaged Warehouse Racking - Is Prevention Better Than Cure?

As with all warehouse racking the question is, with damaged racking is prevention better than cure? All racking and the structures are prone to damage. In the majority of warehouses there is at least one forklift. These machines have the capacity to carry between 4.5 and 9 tonnes. Any small knock with a forklift to the racking may only seem small. But over time if this reoccurs it weakens the racking structure putting a serious potential danger in your warehouse. In every warehouse, it is essential that it is a safe environment for your employees. As a collapse racking system can have serious consequences such as a major injury or even death.

The greatest damage prevention method is in your warehouse design. It is important when planning a warehouse design to check the aisles sizes. That they are correct for your forklift size and it may be an option to invest in column guards. If you are in the process of designing your warehouse there are some key points to consider. In preventing damage to your warehouse racking structure.

Firstly, consider purchasing from a trustworthy supplier. As a check ask if they offer the annual warehouse inspections that are recommended by the standards.

Secondly, the forklifts should have aisle spaces that are wide enough. So as to minimise the possibility of a knock to the racking. It is important to check through the drawings and plans of the warehouse design. Ensuring that the forklift will have adequate room to maneuver safely.


A quick check over for damage to your racking once a week or even more often is recommended. This could mean that you spot a potential danger before the situation gets out of control. There are two main areas of a racking structure to check through for potential hazards. They are the uprights (racking frames) and the beams. Below is a short guide on points to look out for.

Racking Systems - Selective Pallet Racking

Uprights

  • impact to the front
  • impact on the side
  • damaged braces
  • missing floor bolts
Selective Pallet Racking - Beam Retaining Pin

Beams

  • impact to the front
  • impact on the side
  • damaged braces
  • missing floor bolts

Along with regular checks on the warehouse racking structure, it should also be a policy of each company to have forklift accidents reported no matter how insignificant it may seem. According to the Australian Standard AS4084-2012, you are required to have warehouse racking safety audits on a regular basis, it states at least every twelve months. From the report of an inspector they will list out the damages and the recommended remedy to fix the hazard.

So to answer the question yes preventing pallet racking damage is the safest option for any business. It is too late to leave your damaged racking until its past the point of repair, not only will it pose a significant threat to those working within the warehouse but the cost to replace a collapse racking structure is significantly higher than the cost of repairs.

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