Racking qualifies as work equipment therefore it is the Employers responsibility to ensure it is kept in good working order.
Best practices for safe and efficient storage
Racking is an important piece of equipment in many industries, including warehousing, retail, and manufacturing.
What safe working practices should be adopted to protect both workers and your valuable stock?
What can go wrong?
Rack Safety can be compromised whether you operate in a large warehouse, or use a simple six-bay system.
It’s not just that the racking can collapse if it is poorly designed or overloaded, pallet security, fire safety systems, equipment , poor housekeeping, etc. should also be considered, to keep your system safe and effective.
Where to start
Racking should be designed to consider the type and size of the products stored, as well as the frequency of access. Therefore, If you’ve inherited racking as part of a recent relocation, assess whether the existing configuration is right for your needs, or whether it should be altered is essential.
Protecting structural integrity
Rack protectors can prevent damage to the racking system caused by forklifts or other equipment. Therefore Install these at the ends of the aisles, corners, and other areas where collisions are most likely to occur. Even small systems require the uprights to be protected from accidental damage. In addition, Ensure safe working loads are clearly marked.
Loading racks properly, which requires matching load configurations to the beams and the wire decking they rest on. It’s therefore important that any member of staff using the system must be adequately trained in the safe use of the equipment, but importantly, how to correctly place the pallets. Also, once loads are in place, it’s important they are secured with netting, wire mesh panels or safety straps that, as a result, ensure they don’t shift dangerously.
Adopting best practices
Simple tips to operate racking safely include:
- Don’t undercut. Undercutting is used when the forks are longer than the pallet, making safe placement difficult.
- Stack like with like pallets. Different dimensions should be segregated, plastic needs to be stacked with plastic, wood with wood, etc.
- Keep the vertical flue system clear, particularly if you have sprinklers within the racking to allow the fire system to operate as it should.
- If damage occurs, the racks should be immediately unloaded, and left unused until properly repaired or replaced.
- Never use a damaged pallet. This could cause goods to fall, causing property damage or injury.
- Don’t store boxes in front of racking as this limits accessibility to racking.
- Don’t stack empty pallets into a leaning tower. Limiting the height helps to prevent toppling.
Racking qualifies as work equipment and it’s your responsibility to ensure it is kept in good working order. Periodic system inspections should be carried out with particular focus on high traffic areas, zones with high product movement, end-of-aisles, and rack entry points. These areas should be inspected monthly, quarterly, or semi-annually.
Tip. Click here for our racking inspection checklist.
By following best practices, e.g., correct configuration for your products, you can ensure that your racking system is safe, efficient, and optimised for your specific needs. This will create a safe working environment and reduce the risk of injury or property damage.
Suitable & Sufficient Risk Assessment
Safety Aide can assist your business regarding Health and Safety, including Risk Assessments, please get in touch on 08000 806 801.