Because of the warehouse safety regulations in place, cases of pallet racking collapses are rare. When these accidents occur, it is usually as a result of a mistake that could have been avoided. Humans install pallet racking systems. Therefore, knowing when there is a problem can ensure that it is handled before it causes a safety issue.
Here are common tell-tale signs that indicate a safety issue with storage racks.
Shaking when pushed
A well-installed racking system should not shake regardless of the pressure applied to it. If you find that your rack system wobbles when shaken, the installation experts failed to use shims. Check that your floor is level before you determine the cause of the wobble effect.
It is vital to call a service provider immediately. They will come and repair the issue. A shaky storage rack is a danger to the workers. It can also cost the company millions in damages if it collapses.
Crushed or folded row spacers
When you have a racking system that is installed improperly, the spacers get loaded and distort. This folding occurs because the row spacers tend to adjust to a more secure state where they can handle the weight of the storage boxes. If this distortion is visible, unload the rack. You will need to install shims and replace any damaged spacers.
When used storage racks or new ones are well installed, you should be able to remove a beam safety pin without much hustle. If you find that you need a hammer to remove the beam, chances are the rack has shifted and is unstable. You can also remedy the situation by working on the shim.
Requiring custom hardware
Generally, storage racks are manufactured in standard sizes. Therefore, standard pallet support can fit in the last and first rack bays. If this is not the case, the chances are that the rack was not correctly installed. It could also be because the rack was shifted or struck. If this is the case with your rack, you need to reset it to make it straight again. Standard hardware can do this job.
Missing hardware parts
When you notice missing safety locks on a beam’s end, it is an indication of tampering. Either someone struck the rack, or the installations was wrongly done. A safety lock ensures that the rack can withstand impact from below as opposed to falling out of place.
While there is a lot that can be done to ensure the stability and safety of a used storage rack, knowing when to replace it is equally important. When you observe the rack while standing, a straight edge showing less than 3/16’ of left or right damage is best left as is. Also, if you notice the upright bend backward by not more than 1/8’’, this is ok and does not need adjusting. Note these damages and keep an eye on them. If the damage worsens, consider fixing it before resuming use of the shelves.
Rack not perfectly straight
While all the signs above are indications of a faulty shelf, most of those occurrences may have a visible sign like slanting of the rack. If you notice that your used storage rack is not straight, this is a sign that it needs repairs in the future. The recommended plumb tolerance is at ¼’’ per ten feet in cross-aisle and down directions.
Troubleshooting pallet racking systems
There are ways to check the racks for damage. This can be done before the signs above are visible. They include:
- Always inspect the upright columns checking for dents or damage from forklifts.
- Inspect the cross beams to ensure none of them are damaged or sagging.
- Inspect the crossbars or pallet rack wire decking for damage bends, or unwanted movement.
- Inspect frame anchors. They should be connected and not damaged.
- Review the positioning of all pallets. They should all be resting on the cross beams and equally disperses over beam levels.
Once you have conducted thorough inspections, you can list down all safety concerns. Work on correcting these issues before they make the situation a hazard to workers.
The best way to ensure the safety of your pallet rack is by scheduling a routine safety walk. This can be done in the presence of a supervisor. This way, damage can be noticed by the extra set of eyes and handles appropriately. Also, batching reviews can ensure you get value for your money when repairing or replacing racks.