Racking and Storage Safety


Keeping your pallet racking safe is vitally important. In addition to your annual rack safety inspection by a trained inspector, you should carry out regular internal inspections at set intervals (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly etc.). But what should you check for? This blog post will go into detail about how to keep your pallet racking safe!

If a racking system collapses it can lead to major injury or even death.  Racking is manufactured from relatively light components and consequently is susceptible to damage.  Any damage to racking will reduce its load capacity. Eventually, the racking will collapse even when it is within specified safe load limits. Prevention is always better than a cure and is less expensive.  Periodic, rack safety audits make good business sense and are a critical component of every warehouse’s successful planning and operation.

In general terms, storage equipment comes in two categories, shelving and racking. Shelving is for pedestrian picking, hand-loaded applications and as such, under normal use, sustains little damage.  Racking, however, is constantly being loaded and unloaded with mechanical handling equipment and therefore is much more susceptible to damage.

Use of Racks

Employers must ensure lift trucks are being driven and products are being loaded and carefully unloaded on pallet racks and that workers are provided with information, instruction and supervision to protect the health and safety of the worker [OHSA, clause 25(2)(a)].

Employers should consider providing worker training on:

Manufacturers’ loading recommendations
Procedures to report racking damage
Safe operation of mobile equipment in and around racking (i.e., forklift, pallet trucks)
Regular daily inspection/observation of racks
Any additional information relevant to their racking system

Other Related Issues

Employers should ensure:

Aisles are free of obstructions
Lighting is adequate
Pallets are in good condition
A floor used by any worker is free of obstructions and hazards
Artificial lighting is provided where natural lighting is inadequate to ensure the workers’ safety
Equipment such as pallets are maintained in good condition

Pallet racking checklist

Below is a list of some things that should be on your pallet-racking checklist:

Inspect all upright frame columns to ensure that none are damaged or dented from forklifts
Inspect all rack crossbeams to ensure that none are damaged, dented or sagging from forklift impact
Inspect pallet rack wire decking or crossbars for bends, damage or unwanted movement
Inspect all frame anchors, ensuring that they are still connected and free from damage
Inspect beam to frame connection, and make sure all beam safety clips are fully engaged
List all safety concerns

Do you have any more items that could be added to this checklist? Comment below!

In summary, to keep your warehouse racking safe, you will need to perform preventative maintenance weekly. If you have questions regarding capacity or replacing shelving components, contact us for assistance.