Pallet Racking Safety Checklist
- What to Check on your Racking for Damage

 

Keeping your pallet racking safe is vitally important. In addition to your annual rack safety inspection by a competent person, you should carry out regular internal inspections at set intervals (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly etc). But what should you check? Here we take a look with our Pallet Racking Safety Checklist!

 

You can find out more about your requirements for inspecting pallet racking systems in our SEC Storage Guide to...Rack Safety Inspections, however, we thought we'd summarise.

 

The Health & Safety Executive says in its Warehousing and storage: A guide to health and safety (HSG76) document that: 642 To ensure that a racking installation continues to be serviceable and safe, the storage equipment should be inspected on a regular basis.

 

The inspection follows a hierarchical approach using several levels of inspection:

Immediate Reporting
643 As soon as a safety problem or damage is observed by any employee, it should immediately be reported to the 'person responsible for racking safety' (PRRS). You should have systems in place for reporting damage and defects.

 

Visual Inspections
645 The PRRS should ensure that inspections are made at weekly or other regular intervals based on risk assessment. A formal written record should be maintained.

 

'Expert' Inspections
646 A technically competent person should carry out inspections at intervals of not more than 12 months. A written report should be submitted to the PRRS with observations and proposals for any action necessary.

Book your SARI pallet racking inspection online at SEC Direct!

Pallet Racking Safety Checklist!

This pallet racking safety checklist is designed to guide you on what pallet racking components you should inspect for damage. This is not an exhaustive list and if in doubt you should consult the expertise of a competent racking inspector, such as SEMA Approved Rack Inspector (SARI). However minor it is important racking damage is noted, reported and rectified.

 

IF IN DOUBT, OFFLOAD YOUR RACKING SYSTEM IMMEDIATELY and seek the advice of a SEMA Approved Rack Inspector! You should also make arrangements to repair any damage as soon as possible.

 

 

1. Location

You should firstly identify where in the warehouse the inspection took place, making a note of not only the aisle but also the bay aperture or beam level. Good labelling in your warehouse will help in identifying locations.

 

HINT: Our rack inspection reports by a SEMA Approved Rack Inspector include a plan view drawing of your warehouse; this can be used to identify the location for your own Visual inspections.

Is your racking safe? Here's our Racking Safety Checklist.

2. Frames - Front & Rear Posts / Uprights

It is important for you to inspect both the front and rear of your frames. Front damage will likely be occurred by the forklift or misplacing the pallet when inserting into the racking. Rear damage could occur by incorrectly inserting a pallet (such as at an angle) and then damaging the frame. This may otherwise go unnoticed and difficult for a forklift truck operative to notice they have done.

 

The primary components you should inspect of a frame are:

 

  • Post - this is the singular item at the front and rear of the frame, connected by bracing. 2 x posts and bracing makes up a frame!
  • Footplate - this is what the post sits on and usually has 1 or 2 fixings. Damage to the footplate is most likely caused by the pallet being inserted or retrieved!
  • Fixings - the floor fixing (usually 1 or 2 in the footplate) anchors the racking to the floor.
  • Shims - these help level the racking system and are under the footplate. If shims are showing, it will indicate the baseplate and post has moved or twisted.
  • Bracing - both diagonal and horizontal bracing makes up the frame (complete with 2 posts). Although in the middle of the frame, damage can still occur here.

 

HINT: Find out more on what components make up your pallet racking frames in our SEC Storage Guide to...Measuring Pallet Racking

Pallet racking frame - what to check

3. Beams

You should check the front and rear beams. Damage here will most likely be caused by the forklift truck forks when misjudging the collection of pallets (or if the forks extend beyond the pallet when inserting). Damage to beams is one of the most common!.

 

Deflection, or bending beams, is something to look for. Beams will naturally deflect (or bend) under load but excessive deflection may indicate overloading of your pallet racking system.

 

Beam locks should also be present in your beams. These are securing devices to stop beams from becoming accidentally dislodged during normal loading unloading operations. Manufactured from either plastic or metal, they are specific to the racking system and are engineered to behave in a particular way with certain forces, such as a minimum uplift force as per the SEMA Code. If they are missing, they should be replaced!

 

HINT: Find out more about pallet racking beam locks in our Guide to Pallet Racking Safety Pins - Keep Your Racking Safe!

Pallet racking beam - be sure to check!

4. Accessories

You should also check for damage to the following accessories. Whilst not structurally fundamental to your racking system, damage to these elements could indicate poor practice from your forklift operators and also highlight damage in this area. Accessories to inspect include:

 

  • Column guards - these are protective devices, commonly floor mounted or clipped on to the front face of the pallet racking upright/post. Whilst they help prevent racking damage, they are not impenetrable! Damaged column guards could also mean the post is damaged behind! Also, you want the column guard performing correctly therefore if floor fixed guards are damaged or loose, they need to be repaired!
     
  • Decking - some warehouse storage systems have timber, chipboard or steel decking to help support pallets or non-palletised goods. If these are damaged they could provide a huge risk of falling goods into aisles and on to forklift operators and pickers.
     
  • Anti-collapse mesh or netting - much like decking, some pallet racking systems have steel mesh or netting present. This is to stop pallets or non-palletised goods from falling into the racking flue or out of the rear of the racking. Damaged or loose anti-collapse accessories could cause serious harm to colleagues if the product falls from the racking.
     
  • Load notices - do you have load notices displaying the appropriate Universally Distributed Load (UDL) or Safe Working Load (SWL) of your racking systems? This is a health & safety requirement. If they are missing, they should be replaced. Information should be obtained from the original supplier or racking manufacturer.

 

HINT: You can find out more about accessories in our SEC Storage Guide to...Pallet Racking Accessories

Pallet racking accessories - are they safe?

5. General Housekeeping

When carrying out your regular Visual inspections, it is worthwhile carrying out general checks of your warehouse, this may include but not be limited to:
 

  • Rubbish & waste - is the site clean & tidy? Discarded boxes or plastic wrapping can cause serious issues for forklifts, and be a trip hazard for pedestrians.
     
  • Racking use - is the racking being used as intended? Are there items leaning on the racking systems that shouldn't be? Are correct pallets in the correct location?
     
  • Warehouse Floor - is the warehouse floor in good condition? Are there cracks or holes? Poor flooring can affect forklift performance and be an issue for pedestrians.
     
  • Lighting - are all the lights working in the warehouse? Blackspots can make it difficult to see racking at high levels and also make pedestrians less visible to forklift drivers.
     
  • PPE - is sufficient PPE issued and in use by colleagues, staff and visitors? Generally, hi-vis jackets and safety shoes are a requirement. Check with your Health & Safety representative!
     

HINT: You can find out more about general warehouse housekeeping in our handy infographic: Safety in your Warehouse - 28 Top Tips!

General housekeeping should form part of your racking inspection checklist!

How Can SEC Storage Help?

SEC Storage is able to assist with your pallet racking safety inspections, by providing (putting you in touch with) an independent SEMA Approved Rack Inspector! These inspections comply with your requirements as set out by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE); A technically competent person should carry out inspections at intervals of not more than 12 months.

 

Simply submit a quotation request using the form below and we'll be happy to provide a quote and arrange a visit from a SEMA Approved Rack Inspector! We can also arrange for repairs to be carried out to any UK or European manufactured pallet racking system!

 

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