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The Top Causes of Damage to Pallet Racking, and How to Prevent Them



Here at DC Space and Storage Solutions, our ‘Safe Home Everyday’ scheme is at the heart of everything we do, which is why we offer such a breadth of safety services. Pallet racking, while integral to the operation of your warehouse, if improperly managed can become damaged and collapse, posing a serious threat to workers’ lives, as well as your inventory. It is important to understand the most common reasons for damaged racking in order to mitigate the risks and decrease the likelihood of it happening.


The most common causes of damage to pallet racking are; impacts from forklifts, unqualified installers, beam elevation adjustments, overloading systems, or simply negligence.


Forklift Impact


90% of pallet racking collapse occurs as a result of forklift impact. Damage to racking will weaken the frame and decrease its load capacity significantly. If your aisles are an insufficient width for the type of material handling equipment used, then the likelihood of collision increases, so this is another factor to consider. Pallet racking can be reinforced with numerous safety products such as frame barriers, column guards, decks, or anti-collapse mesh. This will aim to prevent the dangerous compromising of pallet racking due to impact, or take the brunt of the force and require only the safety features to be repaired.


Unqualified Installers


DC Space and Storage Solutions is a SEMA Approved Installation Company. This demonstrates our commitment to continuous improvement and delivering the safest installation possible. To qualify, we must demonstrate a continued high level of commitment to safety standards, work to industry codes of practice and be regulated by an annual audit. If racking is not properly and safely installed by an approved installation company you run the risk of it being wrongly constructed, thus weakening its load capacity and increasing the chances that it collapses due to overuse, damage, or further adjustment.


Beam Elevation Adjustments


Alongside using unqualified installers, adjusting beam elevation or reconfiguring racking at a later date without proper consultation can reduce its load capacity and cause the system to become unsafe. While racking may require reconfigurations or adjustments due to shifting stock needs, these should be done with the advice and consideration of the initial, qualified installer.


Overload


You should know the maximum load capacity of your racking, and should not exceed it. Overloading racking can cause beams or connectors to buckle under the added strain and eventually collapse. Loads should be evenly distributed, and if your warehouse system is effectively optimised, your racking requirements should be safely met without the need for overloading a system. If you’re finding your racking needs increase, and your load capacity is not enough, it could be time to reconsider the configuration of your racking to one that has a higher density, or even adding an addition such as a mezzanine floor. We can help.


Negligence


Pallet racking should be properly maintained under the HSE’s PUWER guidelines. Any damage to racking by forklifts should be investigated, which is why you are advised to undertake in-company inspections once a month, and annual inspections by a SEMA (Storage Equipment Manufacturers Association) Approved Racking Inspector. DC Space and Storage Solutions can offer all of these services to help reinforce and keep your racking safe from damage, get in touch with us to find out more.


Being Altius Assured, Safe Contractor Approved, a SEMA Approved Installation Company and a SEMA Approved Distributor, and having 3 ISO Accreditations (ISO 14001, ISO 45001 & ISO 9001), means you can rest assured that by choosing to work with DC you are putting safety at your core and working to the highest industry standards.










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