Warehouses, which employ tens of thousands of people, are critical to the success of a wide variety of industries. They are a storage solution as they can house products or equipment for a business. For instance, pallet racks are an excellent storage and handling solution for warehouses. They aid in organization, maximize storage space, and can be customized to accommodate virtually any storage requirement.
While almost every warehouse utilizes pallet racking, their safety is frequently overlooked, resulting in significant damage and injuries. The following are several strategies for ensuring that your warehouse takes the necessary safety precautions to avoid pallet rack system problems.
- Conduct Continuous Training
As existing employees retire and new hires arrive, ensuring that everyone receives the same basic training can be challenging. It is not uncommon for one or two employees to slip through the cracks and miss critical training sessions, such as those addressing warehouse safety procedures.
While this may seem insignificant at the time, consider the possibility that one of these employees is in a position to notice a significant safety hazard. While they may be the only ones capable of reporting a problem, without rack safety inspection training, they may not even recognize the risk as such.
So to avoid unfortunate situations, develop a training strategy by ensuring that all employees access the same information and training sessions. It may even be prudent to schedule refresher sessions regularly to compensate for anyone who misses their onboarding training.
- Place Pallet Rack Loads Properly
Any pallet racking system that is improperly or excessively loaded is dangerous. Workers must be trained in proper pallet rack loading and positioning, and warehouse managers must constantly monitor the size and weight of pallet racks. Keep in mind that palletized items should be securely tied and tied to prevent movement, damage, or injury.
Before loading, ensure that everyone knows the pallet rack’s capacity. Each weight capacity should be adequately validated and labeled. Assure workers understand the upper levels’ weight capacities and store the heaviest loads on lower levels or the floor. Additionally, warehouse managers should slot storage to keep light pallets in high bays and heavy pallets in lower bays, especially in mixed loads.
Practical warehouse storage also entails avoiding rack loading that is incorrect or unsafe. Workers must understand that loading pallet racks entail more than balancing the structure’s weight against the structure itself. They must be able to take into account the load’s dimensions, shape, size, density, and placement on storage racks.
- Inspect All Components and Accessories
Front and back uprights, baseplates, various braces, and beams are among the components that make up pallet rack systems. These components can be damaged in multiple ways, including forklifts, improper system design, or incorrect pallet insertion, among other errors or accidents. Inspect the pallet rack system’s front and back beams. Forklift truck forks commonly damage beams when workers underestimate the distance between pallets or the forks are longer than the pallet being inserted.
Be on the lookout for any bending or deflection of the beam. While some deflection is expected, your beams will deflect significantly if your employees overload your pallet racking system. Once the inspection is complete, reposition or remove a portion of your load if deflection is discovered during inspections.
When inspecting beams, keep an eye out for beam locks. These devices prevent them from becoming dislodged by accident during routine loading and unloading. Any locks that are broken or missing should be replaced. Finally, inspect the accessories on your pallet racking system for damage. While these add-ons are optional, their damage could indicate improper forklift operation or the need for system repairs.
- Adjust The Warehouse Layout
Depending on the amount of inventory you have, the layout of your warehouse facility should allow for the storage of all of your stocks. Ascertain that your warehouse’s aisles are sufficiently wide to permit both employees and machinery safe passage.
While it may seem appealing to narrow aisles to accommodate a larger stockpile, this can be dangerous. When they are slim, it’s difficult to maneuver around machinery and equipment without colliding or bumping into pallets and racks.
- Label Overheads And Aisles
Because of the bars in front, forklifts can be hard to operate. All supports, aisles, and overhead beams should be visible to ensure driver safety. Use bright or light-colored paint or tape in strategic locations if necessary.
Additional lighting is required in aisles, particularly those inside drive-in pallet racks. With proper lighting and visible height indicators, forklift and other gear issues can be significantly reduced, if not eliminated.
Recognize the critical nature of pallet rack safety and prioritize routine maintenance to avoid costly and dangerous accidents in the future. Proper pallet rack maintenance is essential for warehouse efficiency and safety. While maintaining a safe pallet rack system can be difficult, the following critical tips will help you ensure the security of your warehouse’s pallet rack system while also improving operations.