Pallet Rack Safety | A Comprehensive Checklist
As any business owner knows, a well-maintained pallet racking system saves you time, money, and prevents you from a mess of damages or injury. Pallet racks are some of the most versatile tools to further benefit your industry’s needs. However, as any warehouse owner can deduce, pallet racking systems come with a host of different responsibilities. As a product owner, it’s important to ensure your business functions on the highest level of excellence, as well as maintaining a safe, non-hazardous working environment for employees. There’s a list of material to mention for this article, but let’s go over some of the more important factors into reaching optimal safety.
Alright, having read up to this point, you probably already know about OSHA. In case you aren’t familiar with this agency that makes frequent inspections to warehouses and facilities across the nation—they are the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. When installing a pallet racking system, these guys are the ones you will probably encounter the most. To maintain safety compliance and avoid fines, learn what OSHA inspectors are looking for. But what exactly do they inspect?
Improperly Installed System
It goes without saying: your pallet racking system must be installed correctly. Improperly ensuring beams, anchors, and inaccurate dimensions are met can and WILL cause a hazard. An improperly installed pallet rack can also cause a catastrophic failure to other properly installed systems. It’s important to carefully read and diagnose all appropriate manufacturing instructions. There are no shortcuts when it comes to installation, and doing so will cost you a hefty fine or worse: a detrimental injury or death.
One of the primary functions of a pallet racking system is to undergo some hefty loads, but did you know that even the most efficient system can only obtain a certain weight? That’s right, even pallet racking systems have a loading capacity. For example, certain pallets have the capability to withstand a higher load capacity. With that being said, communicating the load weight or attaching a tracker via a GS-1 compliant tracker allows you to communicate digitally—sending information back and forth about the weight and limits. Never assume a pallet can hold up to more than its limit; it may be tempting to do so, but always rely on the limit and abide by its strict code.
Pallet racking systems undergo a tremendous amount of wear, tear, dings, and dents. While you may think something as sturdy as such can withstand the damage—in reality, it has the potential to fail—horribly. Pallet racking systems can survive a plethora of blows to their structure, but neglecting these damages long-term affects the integrity of its performance. A damaged system quickly loses not only performance but strength as well.
Yes, even modifications can cause a serious OSHA violation. Using whatever materials handy at the time to make repairs can cause a serious failure of the pallet racking system, and put workers in an unsafe environment. Taking the time to research and repair with the proper tools and materials will ensure your pallet racking system is par. In conclusion, pallet racking systems are a fantastic way to streamline your facility. Doing the correct things and maintaining your system will allow you to work with ease. Avoiding costly OSHA violations is also another incentive to weigh when thinking about your pallet racking system. In short, it’s important to put aside shortcuts and take on the responsibility of a compliant system.