Racking pallets offers many benefits in terms of storage and logistics and is both an economical and efficient warehousing technique. However, it doesn’t come without its fair share of risk to the product and employees, and therefore, the business too. In recent years, pallet systems have been growing higher and higher. The weight and volume of goods stacked has also been increasing. Collapses have happened and injuries, including fatal injuries, have occurred. For this reason, it is essential that safe racking is employed.

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Covering basic safety

In any warehouse environment using pallets, three essential ground rules should be followed. Firstly, all racking must have signage concerning safe operating loads. Secondly, all employees involved in racking, forklift operation and related equipment must be trained and licensed. Lastly, inspections should be carried out frequently and all damage must be reported immediately. Naturally, if the damage is found, this area should be isolated until the issue can be rectified.

Pallet damage issues

Pallet damage is obviously a leading cause of racking collapse. But many pallets become damaged because they are unsuitable for the racking system or the product. Using the right pallets for your racking system is critical for safe operation. Likewise, the use of faulty or old pallets can affect the overall load of the rack. Ensuring a uniformly distributed load prevents against unbalanced loading, the primary cause of collapse outside of collision.

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Other common causes of racking problems

While most racking collapses are the result of damaged pallets, there is also a wide range of other issues that lead to collapse. For a more comprehensive overview, check out http://www.rackzone.ie/, but as a summary, these causes include; employees climbing the racking, impact damage from heavy items being dropped, overloading, dislodgement and small damage going unreported.

The big picture

Even with the best risk assessment practices, no storage site can ever be completely risk-free, but there are small, conceptual steps you can take to greatly improve safety. Encouraging two-way communication is crucial to safety and this must be implemented across the business.

When employees feel rushed, hushed and susceptible to punishment, they won’t tell their managers when things go wrong. They will simply try to fix the issue or hide the damage. And in racking, hiding damage is the last thing you want to do.