Safe Pallet Rack Storage Practices
Following safe pallet rack storage practices is crucial for productivity and warehouse safety. Pallet rack storage encompasses numerous processes, from proper loading/unloading techniques to load monitoring, warehouse maintenance, and more.
Weight Limits and Load Capacity
Every pallet rack system has a specific capacity rating, and loads must not exceed that capacity limit. If exceeded, a pallet rack system is at risk of beam deflection, leading to hazardous storage conditions or system failure in extreme cases.
When planning and designing a pallet rack system, understanding load capacity specifications is the key to selecting proper pallet rack components and configurations. To choose the right pallet racking for your application, you need to know the weight and dimensions of your product and loaded pallets.
Rack capacity labels ensure future adherence to the system’s capacity requirements in lieu of warehouse changes like relocations, product rearrangements, or system modifications. Contact us if you would like help with capacity labels or plaques.
Finally, performing regular inspections and load monitoring ensures continued compliance with the rack’s stated capacity and upholds the safety of products and warehouse personnel.
Loading and Unloading Procedures
Safe loading and unloading begins before a forklift operator even steps foot in the warehouse – it starts with training. Training for warehouse personnel is the first step in ensuring safe loading and unloading and minimizing accidents. Moreover, continued forklift driver evaluations and training can refresh and remind longtime operators of safety practices they may have overlooked after however many years on the job.
When loading and unloading, forklift operators should check the pallets for damage before lifting or moving them. Slow, steady loading gives the operator more control and time to react.
Operators should center pallets on the two beams for even weight distribution, careful not to clip the underside of the beam as they lift. Secure stacking and placement prevent beam deflection or falling pallets.
In safe storage systems, pallets will overhang the edge of the beam by 6 inches on either side. This overhang increases visibility for forklift operators as they access the pallets and prevent pallets from being pushed too far or not far enough into the system.
Warehouse Safety Best Practices
Maintaining clear aisles, sounding forklift horns around corners, and walking only in designated walking paths are all examples of warehouse safety best practices and are mandated by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA).
Forklift collisions are responsible for 90% of pallet rack failures. Implementing safe forklift practices is pivotal to whether you run a safe or hazardous warehouse operation.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) like reflective vests, hard hats, and safety glasses can increase visibility and protect employees from falling objects or other warehouse hazards.
Warning signs and labels can increase awareness for employees and guests within a warehouse. Standard warehouse signage warns individuals of falling objects, fire hazards, forklift zones, heavy machinery, electrical components, and PPE-required zones.