WAREHOUSE SAFETY INSPECTIONS
Warehouse safety can take many forms – clear aisle-ways, proper training for workers, safe product storage – but one of the most important ones is making sure your various forms of warehouse storage are inspected and working properly.
Racks, shelves, whatever you have installed in your warehouse, you need to make sure they’re safely installed and frequently maintained to prevent damage, accident, and injury. Chief among these is pallet rack: often used as the backbone of any major warehouse’s storage solutions, pallet racks are a common sight in warehouses that require upkeep and maintenance to ensure everything works as it should.
If you have some pallet racks you want to make sure are working to capacity, or if you need some refreshers on where to start with a pallet rack safety inspection, we’ve got a checklist of the first few things to look out for:
Are the racks level and flush? Rack systems that have been incorrectly installed, subject to a lot of heavy use, or installed in warehouses with a settling/uneven foundation may be more prone to bending, leading to structural weakness. If you see any signs of uneven frames or bending in the uprights, consider replacing them with new pallet rack upright frames after tracking down the source of the damage – if you find the foundation is responsible you may want to consider moving your pallet racks to a safer area.
Are the pallets overhanging the edge of the rack? The pallets themselves can pose just as great of a safety risk if they’re being positioned incorrectly or not being maintained and kept up. Check to make sure your pallets are being placed correctly on the rack, with no large spaces between them (or to make sure there’s not too many pallets being placed on each rack) and keep all of the pallet racks safely back and away from the edge of the shelf.
Are the base plates incorrectly installed and/or damaged? The base plates of each rack bear a lot of the weight, and if incorrectly installed can cause damage to items and other storage, as well as injury to the workers. Check your base plates to make sure they’re correctly anchored down into the ground and inspect the surrounding ground for cracks or damaged anchor points.
Are any beams missing or damaged? Beams and cross bars do a lot of the work when it comes to supporting the load on pallet racks, and as such they need frequent inspection and replacement. Check all load-bearing beams under the shelves and cross bars across the face or underneath the pallet rack for visible damage or improper installation (a good way to check is to measure the amount of bending or deflection on each beam), and replace them as needed – it’s always better to be safe with a fresh set of beams to reduce injury and prevent damage.
Has everything been installed correctly? Finally, you need to make absolutely sure that the racks have been installed correctly and are up to standards. Check all bolts, wall mounts, base plates, and individual shelves to make sure everything is connected properly, and don’t be afraid to check out your owner’s manual to make sure everything was installed to the letter.