Many things can go wrong while working in a warehouse, and, unfortunately, some of those situations can result in serious injury. One of the biggest dangers is a collapsing pallet rack. Pallet racks can hold hundreds or even thousands of pounds, and to have that potentially come crashing down on a worker could prove fatal in the worst-case scenario.
Always keep ways on how to prevent pallet rack damage in mind when thinking of warehouse safety.
Dangers of Vehicles in the Warehouse
One of the biggest threats to pallet rack stability is vehicles in the warehouse, most notably, forklifts. Vehicles can easily run into the support structure of the rack, which can result in the entire installation falling down. The first step to protecting pallet racks is to know the dangers of vehicles and to know ways to prevent or mitigate the damage done.
Increase Visibility of Racks
Sometimes, the problem may be that the driver cannot see where the sensitive foundation of the rack is. Finding ways to increase visibility can help the driver better avoid rack structures.
Some of the ways to improve visibility can include adding better lighting in problem areas to better see obstacles and collision hazards.
Adding mirrors to rack installations and the warehouse vehicle helps drivers see upcoming hazards better, on top of being able to see more of their vehicle. The more they see, the better they are at avoiding damage.
Install Steel Post Protectors
One effective way to mitigate vehicle damage to rack pallets is to install steel post protectors. These protectors can absorb the damage caused by a vehicle collision, ensuring the protection of the rack’s support structure. It is far easier to replace a post protector after a collision rather than replacing an entire pallet rack.
Conduct Driver Training
Letting anyone use forklifts and electric pallet jacks can have disastrous results if they do not have the proper training. Making sure that only those trained in the use of these vehicles can operate them will reduce the risk of collisions with racks.
Know Your Rack’s Load Tolerance
Forklifts are not the only danger to racks; over-loading your pallet rack with too much weight is a quick way for it to collapse as well. Be keenly aware of how much your rack can support and adhere to its limits. Be sure to post those limits nearby, so every worker is aware as well. The more clearly that you state these limits and the more people who know about them, the easier it will be to avoid overloading the rack.
First Order of Business
Making sure that you take every step to prevent pallet rack damage should be the first goal you set in the warehouse. Making sure that every worker is trained in the operation of vehicles and that they are given the means to better conduct their job is the fastest way to ensure pallet rack safety.