If you work around pallet rack systems, it is essential that they do not fall on your watch. The repercussions of this happening are very costly repair costs and civil penalties. You and the people that you work could get seriously injured.
Despite the fact that pallet racking is very durable and strong, it will, like all warehouse equipment, will wear and tear as it gets older. The nuts and bolts can come loose and cause the racking to become unstable. If a forklift runs into them, the supporting posts can become damaged.
Every pallet rack needs to be inspected on a regular basis to look for signs of wear and to ensure that they are complying with the current codes regarding them. A warehouse inspection that will include a pallet rack inspection to make sure of pallet racking safety needs to be performed by a third-party auditor. That will ensure that employees are not covering damage and wear.
Why You Need a Pallet Racking Inspection
The Health and Safety Work Act of 1974 says “All adjustable pallet racking fall under the category of work equipment, which must be maintained and inspected on a regular basis.”
To fulfill these guidelines, it is a requirement for a business that uses pallet racking systems to store products in their warehouse make sure they do regular inspections of these systems and that an expert inspects them on a yearly basis. The majority of companies inspect these systems in-house on a monthly basis.
What Needs to be Looked For During a Pallet Racking Inspection
Some of the things that need to be looked at during a pallet racking inspection are:
• Examining the diagonal and horizontal braces for signs of wear
• Looking at the beams for frontal damage
• Identifying bolts that are missing or are not properly fastened
• Making sure that all of the frames are properly secured to the floor
• Are the racks level and standing straight up?: If a pallet racking system has been reconfigured, not installed properly, or put in a place where the foundation has settled, this can be a big problem. Crooked racks, ones that are out of alignment, or a leaning vertically are a sign of racks that are not being properly stored.
• The Metal Component Being Corroded or Rusted: This could definitely mean that the metal is weak. If the paint on the rack has been scraped, that could mean that it has been hit by something.
• Is There Too Much Weight on the Pallet Racking System?: This is a big pallet racking safety issue that can not be overlooked, especially during a pallet racking inspection. If there is too much weight on a system, then damage to the rack can take place and people can get injured as well. Therefore, it needs to be taken care of immediately. If the rack is an older rack, it may not have its weight limits posted or stamped on it.
• Are the Uprights Bent or Damaged?: Is some of the paint scraped that may be a sign of being hit by a forklift? Even a small amount of damage can lower the upright capacity for the section of the pallet racking that has been hit. These uprights must be replaced right away. The horizontal braces also need to be checked for bending, twisting, or any other type of harm. You also need to make sure that your foot plates are properly lagged and is properly affixed to the floor. If the column protectors are damaged, you need to take them out and ensure that the rack upright was not damaged in the incident that caused the protector to become damaged.
• Check The Load Beams: Just like the uprights, beams can be damaged by forklifts, pallets, or by having too much weight put on them. They can be moved from their secure fastening position, overloaded, or not loaded properly. That can cause the load beams to fail.
• Check for Beam Damage: If the beams are dented, dinged, twisted, or even scraped, look at them to see if they have been damaged. Putting a new beam in is a lot more simple and more inexpensive than the expense of the damage caused by a fall
• Look for Misshaped Beams: The beams will automatically misshapen when they have a load on top of them and some of being out of shape is acceptable It must not be able to be seen when there is not any weight on the beams. If the deflection is visible when the beams are empty, the beams need to be replaced. The reason for the deflection is that they have been deformed by having too much weight put on them or they have been hit. No matter what, beams should not be weighed down more than 1/180th of the total length of the beam (for a 96” beam, that’s half an inch).
• Are the beams attached to the uprights as they should be? Look at the connections carefully. Are the beams seated tightly into the uprights? Have the uprights been hit? Are any of the welds broken or does it look like other things are broken or damaged? Are the safety clips still safe and secure; are bolts on bolted systems still tight?
• Are the clips, bolts, or safety pins, or beam attachment pins missing or damaged? The majority of racks utilize some type of hardware that is used for connecting that is not the teardrop or keyhole to make sure that they fit securely and tightly. Some even utilize more than one of these methods. You need to inspect yours to ensure that are all properly fastened and are unharmed. If any are broken or missing, they need to be replaced. The loose ones also need to be tightened and you should figure out what is breaking the broken ones and fix the problem.
During the yearly inspection, the inspector will perform a very detailed review that consists of looking at every pallet racking system, take pictures, and document any potential risks. Each inspection is custom designed for the warehouse that is being inspected and the type of pallet racking systems that they have.
After the inspection is complete, a detailed report will be compiled focusing on issues that were noticed during the onsite inspection for pallet racking safety. A safety spreadsheet will also be made that will focus on the places that are damaged and need to be carefully looked at. The goal of the inspection and preceding report is to prevent any further risks from occurring. Twelve months after the inspection is done, you will get a notification telling you that is time for your pallet racking system to be inspected again.
The Benefits of a Pallet Racking System Inspection
By having a regular pallet racking system inspection to make sure that you have pallet racking safety, you will make sure that any issues are properly dealt with and the chance of an accident taking place in your warehouse is a lot less. You will also be complying with health and safety legislation, prevent pallet racking incidents, have lower maintenance costs, and encourage your workers to be safe in the workplace.
Beyond The Inspection
It is not enough to have your pallet rack system inspected. The damages and repairs that need to be done must be documented and taken care of. Documentation also helps keep track of how regular and thorough the inspection was in case there is a problem in the future. If you hire an inspector, ensure that they adhere to industry and local laws, and that they also document and keep records on the inspections that they do.
I hope all of this information will help you ensure that your pallet racking inspections are properly done and that you know how to inspect them on your own as well.