Pallet racking security is a critical factor for every company that uses a racking storage system. You might wonder what pallet racking protection is, why it’s so important, and the legal implications of its use. Here are the top reasons why pallet rack protection is absolutely critical to the safety of you and your workers!
What Is Racking Protection?
Warehouse racking system protection refers to the products used to protect commercial racking systems from harm. Any storage area that uses lifting equipment poses a danger of injury, which is why warehouse racking protection is such an important investment. Numerous forms of protective equipment are used in conjunction with a modern racking system. Everything from floor-mounted racking upright protectors to end-of-rack barriers and column guards falls within this category. Without effective pallet racking protection, you risk incurring costly and perhaps catastrophic damage, placing workers in danger of injury or death, and increasing the likelihood of inventory destruction. You’ll be creating a protective layer with pallet racking barriers in place, which will keep machinery away from vulnerable points, and prevent disasters daily.
Why Should You Use Racking Protection?
Racking protection can provide several benefits, the most obvious being a lower damage rate to your storage framework. Pallet handling machinery in a warehouse is heavy, powerful, and capable of dinging, denting, or completely destroying rows of racking. With upright pallet racking protection in place, this isn’t a risk you have to take. This isn’t just about one-time mishaps; it’s about everyday wear and tear. A slightly damaged rack is no longer safe to use, even if it remains upright and appears sturdy after the collision.
Racking protection is a preventative measure that physically prevents machines from colliding with the uprights and legs. It also serves as a helpful reminder for operators to avoid certain locations. Conspicuous rack protectors will stand out from afar, reminding staff to be cautious when working in and around the warehouse. Industry groups actively encourage this type of prominent protection strategy because of its impactful advantages, and it’s used in other fields. We’ll go over some legal reasons for investing in pallet racking protection later. If you are required to improve warehouse safety due to regulatory requirements, there are numerous other reasons to do so. Pallet racking barriers can pay you year after year in terms of cost savings, productivity, and preventing unnecessary downtime.
What Are the Different Types of Racking Protection?
There is a range of protective products available for current pallet racking systems, each of which serves a distinct purpose and costs differently.
Leg protection for racking comes in various shapes and sizes, ranging from clip-on foam covers that resemble pipe lagging to polymer-based column shields that are self-adhesive or secured with a Velcro strap. These are designed to be disposable so that if one is broken after a hit, it can be removed and replaced in seconds while the underlying structure of the racking remains intact. This pallet racking protection is particularly suited to in-aisle deployment because it can withstand low speed and low force accidents.
You can also put floor-mounted poles at the end of each lane to create a permanent demarcation of where lift trucks can travel, ensuring that the safest courses are always followed. These posts are likely the most resilient and sturdy of the available protection choices, though they do make it more difficult to rearrange racking or adjust aisle lengths, which is something to keep in mind.
Racking Protection & the Law
There are no specific legislative criteria for the installation and use of pallet racking protection systems, but general health and safety rules apply to this sort of equipment. As a result, it is prudent for firms to stay on top of this regulation in order to avoid falling foul of authorities while also keeping employees safe and preventing unnecessary harm.
The HSE (Health and Safety Executive) has its own guidelines for warehouse and storage equipment. It stipulates that racking exposed to any machinery or vehicle should be protected in some way, especially at ground level, where accidents are most likely to occur.
Column guards are the greatest choice for this, as they can be replaced whenever they are compromised. These guards also emphasize the importance of these guards being extremely visible, which is why they are usually painted in a bright color. This serves as a caution to truck drivers to stay off the road and stick to a prearranged route.
Steel racking systems are likewise considered in the EN 15629 standard, with continental regulators reaching similar conclusions.
According to the standard, pallet racking upright guards must be visible at the end of rows, where they are closest to moving equipment nearby. This standard also emphasizes that firms should set aisle widths based on the required protection. This is something that could be missed in the haste of purchasing a pallet racking system, and if there isn’t enough place for racking leg protectors, difficulties will inevitably develop.
What Standards Should Rack Protection Conform To?
You should be sure that racking protection is necessary at this point, so now let’s go over choosing amongst the several options. The obvious solution is to examine the SEMA standards that each product meets. In this instance, manufacturers who have constructed their warehouse racking protection to satisfy these internationally recognized requirements (known as SEMA standards) will undoubtedly be the most coveted.
The SEMA Code specifies the specific impact-absorption characteristics that racking protection should meet, depending on where it will see use. Corner-mounted pallet racking protection, for example, must be able to withstand 400Nm of strain on its front and sides without giving away. In-aisle protectors must be rated for 200Nm of absorption, while those meant for heavy-duty use must be specified and tested on a case-by-case basis after risk assessment findings.
We hope you have enjoyed our recap of the top reasons why pallet rack protection is absolutely critical to the safety of you, your facility, and your workers. If you are looking to purchase steel post protectors or any other racking safety equipment, be sure to reach out to Rack Safety Products today! We have a wide variety of safety products to ensure that we are your one-stop-shop for all safety needs.