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How to Properly Maintain Pallet Racking

Pallet racking is a highly effective, space-efficient storage solution that can drastically improve warehouse capacity and productivity. There are so many benefits to using these systems, but the combination of vertically stacked heavy loads and material handling equipment means that racking must be properly maintained to ensure it remains safe as well as effective. These requirements are all set out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in the HSG76 Publication.

The first step to maintaining your pallet racking comes through its installation. Proper installation will mitigate the dangers of an improperly installed racking system breaking, buckling, or collapsing. Racking systems should be installed by competent assemblers, approved by the Storage Equipment Manufacturers’ Association, our trade body. Here at DC Space and Storage Solutions, we are approved as both a SEMA distributor, and installer, so we are able to provide the highest quality installations possible. It might be tempting to make your aisle width as small as possible in order to maximise space, however, racking systems, specifically those that require forklift use, have minimum space requirements to operate properly and without increased risk of collision.

Any alteration, collision, or other damage to the racking system can compromise the frame structure leading to a catastrophic accident or collapse, thus, racking must be monitored closely for damage at all times, and thoroughly inspected for defects by a team of SARI - SEMA Approved Racking Inspectors - every 12 months at a minimum. The monitoring of damage is a significant aspect of proper maintenance and can be the difference between a safe workplace, and a death. DC operates a team of SARIs and can provide the inspections to fulfil this aspect of maintenance to keep your workplace safe, and to fulfil your legal requirements. This is one of the most significant ways in which pallet racking must be maintained.

‘Any damage to racking will reduce its load carrying capacity. The greater the damage the less its strength will be.’ - HSG76

These rack safety checks should ensure that:

  • Every rack is securely anchored to the floor to avoid horizontal displacement

  • Safety clips and locks are properly installed on each pallet beam

  • There is enough space above the beams to allow for safe clearance and navigation of pallets

  • Inventory should be evenly distributed onto the storage system to prevent the overloading of one aspect

  • One can determine if racking has been overloaded by checking that beam connectors are parallel at an upright angle and racking braces are not bent or warped in any way.

Alongside these yearly SARI inspections, the Person Responsible for Racking Safety (PRRS) must carry out monthly internal inspections of the pallet racking. They need to have been trained on a Rack Safety Awareness Course.

‘To ensure that a racking installation continues to be serviceable and safe, the storage equipment should be inspected on a regular basis.’ - HSG76

There are also many different safety products that we offer in order to make your pallet racking system as safe and secure as possible. We understand that even the best and most experienced forklift operators can make a mistake and bump into racking. In order to mitigate this risk we are able to install; guardrails, column guards, frame barriers, timber decks, mesh decks, and anti-collapse mesh. These all provide extra reinforcement and protection in the event of a collision, but also add an extra reminder due to their bright yellow safety colour. Racking should be anchored to the floor in order to add an extra layer of security against it falling.

Another important aspect of proper maintenance is ensuring that load ratings are present on racking to prevent going over the weight limit of racking, or changing the beam height to something that doesn’t conform to the minimum space requirement.

Here at DC Space and Storage Solutions, we understand how vital your pallet racking system is for the proper running of your warehouse, and also how important it is to maintain it effectively to keep your employees safe and complete your legal duties of care. That’s why we offer all of the services above in order to help you maintain your pallet racking. No one wants improperly maintained pallet racking to cost them their life, especially with the holiday season approaching. Get in touch today to ensure you’re maintaining your pallet racking as you should be.

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