The hidden dangers behind the racking system
In the drive-in and drive-through rack storage system, forklifts can drive directly to the bay so that they can elevate a pallet and load it on the rack system. However, it is a fact that not all forklift operators are careful in the performance of their jobs. An impact from the forklift can compromise the structural integrity of the rack structure. Weaknesses on the structure are not always visible to the naked eye that is why there is a need for a professional racking inspection to ensure that the structure is safe and sound. Some companies prefer the more cost effective second hand racking structures but they are often uninformed on the history of the system. It is possible that the structures have experienced impact that may have caused some defects on the system. In order to ensure that the structure will allow the maximum permitted loading weight, it makes sense to consider racking inspection.
Possible reasons behind the failure of racking systems
The collapse of a racking structure can result into expensive losses and injuries to workers. Defects on the structure are not always due to impact from forklifts but overburdening of the structure which means that the maximum permitted loading weight has been exceeded. Structures can also deteriorate due to different environmental conditions that exist in the warehouse like moisture, dampness and exposure to corrosive chemicals. These elements can compromise the structural integrity of the racking system but if it is checked in a timely manner, maintenance and repairs can be handled immediately. At the very least, a collapsed racking structure can impact on productivity because the normal working conditions in the warehouse will be interrupted. Losses can translate into millions of dollars which is significantly more than an investment on professional racking inspection.
OSHA regulations on racking structures
Occupational Health and Safety Administration requires that maximum loading limits should be properly observed and maximum safe loads must not be exceeded to prevent accidents in the workplace. In order to have safe movement for workers as well as material handling equipment, it is important for aisles to be kept clear and to be ensured that they are always in good repair. All materials that are stored in tiers must be secured to eliminate the potential of sliding, failure or collapse. These guidelines from the OSHA dictate that the necessary racking inspection should be handled by a competent person in racking safety. A technically competent person must inspect the racking structure at least once in every 12 months with a written proposal on what steps to be carried out to ensure structural integrity.