Pallet racking is one of the most important pieces of warehouse storage equipment and as such, it must be properly maintained and replaced when necessary – to avoid accidental damage and to consider general wear and tear.
If you fail to monitor the general condition of your pallet racking, this can cause serious problems including a major collapse that can cause employee injury or even death. It can also result in the loss of stock and disruption to your business while repairs take place.
Damaged or incorrectly installed racking is dangerous and companies must inspect racking systems regularly. The Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 govern the maintenance of pallet racking.
Visual inspections must be carried out at regular intervals, in addition to expert inspections by a competent person. The Storage Equipment Manufacturers' Association's code of practice states that a technically competent person must complete an annual inspection. Any damage or defects must be reported immediately. If the condition of the racking affects its safety, it must be offloaded and provisions should be made to ensure it isn't used again until the necessary work has been completed.
Businesses must keep a record in a logbook of all pallet racking inspections; stating when they are carried out and reporting any damage or repairs - the first inspection is usually carried out within six months of the pallet racking's installation. In addition to the formal annual inspection, the in-house inspections should be carried out daily or weekly, with the frequency governed by individual factors that will be dependent on the nature of the business.
A procedure must also be put in place to report forklift accidents. Unfortunately, not all forklift drivers report minor bumps, even though they might well have caused damage that is not immediately visible. This is why regular inspections are vital.
Signs that your racking needs replacing
A racking system that's constantly faulty and in need of repairs can be a sign of a larger, underlying problem that shouldn't be ignored, although one real danger of making constant repairs is that the racking can be weakened and may eventually collapse.
Another problem is beam deflection. The beams will deflect slightly under a heavy load but if this doesn't disappear when you take the load off and the beam remains deflected, it's likely to be damaged and in need of replacement.
Rust and corrosion is another sign the racking needs replacing. Any area with tarnished beams, flaking paint or corrosion is an indicator that the metal is weakening.
Protection is available against damage from forklifts including racking barriers, upright protectors and column guards. Tubular barriers protect the ends of the pallet racking against vehicle damage, while corner guards will protect against any kind of collision. Fixing bolts make sure the guards don't move.
If you need an expert inspection of your pallet racking, contact Dalvie Systems. Our professional team will be happy to help.