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Pallet Racking In Seismic Zones | 3 Keys to Installing Pallet Rack

An earthquake: one of the most unfortunate circumstances to impact your warehouse. What exactly are seismic zones when it comes to pallet racking? A seismic zone is a hazardous area in which earthquakes tend to occur. The continental United States is prone to several seismic zones that have created disastrous situations for many Americans. When it comes to warehousing, many businesses with pallet racking in seismic zones have the potential to prevent irreversible effects on their economic future. For some, the basic knowledge in seismic pallet racking is neglected; wreaking havoc on any and everything they’ve taken years to build. Performing simple routine and maintenance can save you time, money, and the consequences of a natural disaster.

Examine Ground Foundation and Leveling

It’s simple: you place an object on a slanted surface and it will slide. The same logic applies to seismic pallet racking. One of the many mistakes most business owners neglect is a careful examination of their ground foundation. Most earthquakes are borne from fault lines running through our Earth’s crust. Doing the proper research on the foundation itself is a logical solution to avoiding future damage. Soil is also a component factoring into your warehouse’s plan for pallet racking in seismic zones. In the event of an earthquake, soil can become severely eroded, causing any future foundations to have excessive damage–resulting in pallet racking failure, inventory loss, and potential employee harm.

Structural Issues

OSHA, one of the country’s leading examiners of seismic pallet racking design, makes frequent inspections of warehousing racking systems. The inability to comply with their required standard can cost you a heavy fine, or land you in serious legal trouble. In the event of seismic pallet racking, building your racks to zonal specifications can help protect you and your workers. In most seismic zones, higher-density racks are put in use to utilize optimal storage and layout design; however, the taller your seismic pallet rack, the greater chance of human error. Unfortunately, improper placement, handling, and loading can be one of the primary causes of pallet racking failure. Properly training workers on the proper techniques for storing and handling can avoid common mishaps. Doing routine maintenance and inspecting your seismic pallet racking system frequently is the best way to ensure your warehouse will be stable, secure, and run consistently.

Improper Design

It goes without saying that any seismic pallet rack improperly designed will ultimately result in failure. With higher-density racks becoming a popular and practical route to seismic zoning, it can also spell disaster. In lieu of structural failure, producing a pallet racking system opposite of your state’s guidelines can cause major damage to your warehouse and lead to worker death. Larger beam connectors, bracing panels, and heavier-designed frames are integral parts of seismic pallet racking design. With the appropriate balance between these elements, seismic movement will cease to affect your warehouse. It may be time-consuming but doing extensive research on your own plays a key role in your business’s future. Seismic zoned warehousing can be a challenging task, but rigorous preparation, patient research, and investing in the right materials can save you time, money, and lives.