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Why It's Important to Maintain Your Pallet Racking

Date: Fri 1st April 2022

While pallet racking is a reliable and convenient warehouse handling and storage solution as it optimises storage space, increases organisation and productivity and is customisable to fit almost any storage need, due to the everyday wear and tear they suffer, pallet racking damage can be a common occurrence. Safety risks can then be amplified by ignored or forgotten about routine maintenance and poor installation.

It is therefore incredibly important to carry out regular pallet racking inspections and maintenance, both by yourself and an experienced and impartial expert. This is especially pertinent because as the owner of the company, or as the maintenance manager, you have the responsibility to prioritise warehouse safety and protect your products and employees from accidents. Arranging routine and regular safety checks as part of your preventative maintenance strategy and making repairs when needed can be your key to drastically minimising these risks.

Regular maintenance and checks are absolutely essential

It's very easy for pallet racking maintenance to be overlooked and forgotten about, but it is absolutely imperative that you regularly check and maintain storage systems just like you would high-value machinery like forklifts. For instance, if you ignore a damaged racking system and then it's continued to be used, it could cause the entire structure to collapse and potentially seriously injury your workers and destroy inventory. In addition, any unbalanced shelving levels, a malfunctioning vertical reciprocating conveyor or pallet racking with loose bolts can cause debris to fall onto an innocent passers-by.

There's one very simple way for these disasters to be avoided; preventative maintenance. In fact, it's crucial for smooth warehouse operations and pallet racking safety. It will also lower long-term warehouse costs by preventing damage to your valuable inventory and equipment, minimising the risk of employee injuries and helping you avoid making more costly and major repairs down the line.

Comply to all health and safety at work regulations

Maintaining your pallet racking and carrying our regular racking inspections will also fulfil your obligations under the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. If you are not in compliance, you could face hefty fees and even legal ramifications, so it's important you comply.

Preventative pallet racking repairs and simple routine safety checks can help to identify any potential problem areas before they result in injury or health and safety violations. Another critical aspect of meeting these regulations for warehouse storage safety standards is installing the right pallet racking safety tools, including bollards, punch decking, guardrails, racking netting, rack end guards, wire mesh racking backing, column protectors and pallet support bars.

Not only should you regularly check your pallet racking yourself but it's also important that you have your equipment inspected and maintained by experienced and impartial professionals. They will provide you an extensive report that can then be used as an audit to check the condition of equipment for health and safety purposes.  

By following the report’s suggestions you will be able to keep your pallet racking to a legally acceptable standard.  For some companies, an annual racking inspection report by a suitably qualified inspector will be required in order to comply with insurance demands.

What should your regular racking safety checks include?

During regular and routine racking safety checks and inspections, it's important to survey for any potential damage to ensure the racking is operating efficiently and is structurally sound. If there are any current damages that need to be addressed now or any potential issues that are likely to arise soon, necessary repairs can therefore be proactively scheduled. Your racking safety checks should therefore ensure that;

  • The pallet racking allows for enough clearance space when unloading or loading goods
  • Safety locks and clips are properly installed to prevent dislodged pallet racking beams
  • The pallet racking is not overloaded, which can be determined by checking that beam connectors are parallel at an upright angle and that racking braces are not horizontal, diagonal or bent
  • Goods and products are evenly distributed onto the storage system
  • Every racking system is securely and safely anchored to the floor to increase stability and avoid horizontal displacement

By understanding and appreciating the importance of pallet racking safety and prioritising regular and routine maintenance now, you can avoid harmful and costly accidents in the future. 

At Acorn Storage, we provide comprehensive assistance when it comes to installing and identifying the perfect pallet racking system for your warehouse or commercial unit, as well as regular and planned maintenance and inspection programs for long-term safety and efficiency. Our maintenance programs are fully flexible and customisable for your facility and its needs and once our inspections have been completed, we will provide you with a written report of our findings and recommendations for corrective racking repairs.

Contact us today to discuss your racking inspection and maintenance needs with one of our helpful and friendly team. 

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