Rack Inspections: Why and How?
Used in warehouses across the world, storage racks are considered the backbone of the material handling industry. This means that the standard to which we hold our racking systems should be equally as important. The only way to identify errors and repair accordingly is to maintain a regular rack inspection schedule . Many employers put off regular rack inspections due to budget constraints or lack of knowledge when it comes to inflicted damage. This could result in injured employees, damaged inventory, and unnecessary delays that could negatively affect your profitability.
To keep your warehouse running at optimum efficiency it is vital to follow safety standards that can be found in OSHA’s General Duty Clause, Section 5(a)(1). This clause highlights employers will be held responsible for protecting their employees from injuries that could arise due to recognized hazards. RMI, the Rack Manufacturers Institute, states that all damaged rack be isolated using caution tape and evaluated by a qualified professional prior to repair or replacement.
What should a rack inspection involve? A rack professional should check for damage and that the installation was done according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Rack capacities should be checked against the weight they are currently holding. This step is essential as overloading is the most common cause of rack failure leading to devastating damages and employee injuries.
Uprights should be searched for signs of collision such as dents or chipped paint. Horizontal braces should be evaluated for bending or twisting. Footplates should be checked to confirm they are securely attached to the floor. Damaged column protectors should be removed to ensure the rack upright was not affected by the incident. Lastly, do not underestimate the importance of keeping your warehouse aisles clear. A proper inspection should involve clearing inventory or other material handling equipment to narrow the likelihood of a forklift maneuver that could result in an accidental rack collision.
These may seem like steps you can take yourself, but we encourage you to seek the help of a qualified professional. It is recommended the rack professional is involved in both the inspection and the repair process at least once a year. In addition, a member of your warehouse team should be trained to perform monthly inspections. Make sure a detailed record of each inspection is kept helping you recognize when and where the bulk of your damages are happening. These records will help you train your staff accordingly on proper warehouse procedures and hopefully help to prevent future damages.
Maintaining a regular rack inspection schedule will help you rest assured that your warehouse is operating as safely and efficiently as possible. Allotting time in your company’s schedule for these inspections keeps you up to date on what needs to be repaired while simultaneously keeping you and your employees out of harm’s way. Schedule your rack inspection today and let us help you reduce the risk of a collapsing rack as a safer warehouse is undeniably a more productive warehouse.