In warehouse inventory management, safety is always a concern. Workers can either slip on wet floors or get knocked over by forklifts. Another safety issue is associated with pallet racking systems. These tall storage systems can be easily damaged due to constant collisions with forklifts. The impact may lead to an unstable racking system that can collapse at any time, putting the lives of warehouse workers at risk. Therefore, all warehouse workers should practice safety. Below is a list of pallet racking safety procedures that your workers can use.
1. Inspect the Components Regularly
A pallet racking system is a combination of retrofits and components. These accessories are subject to wear and tear due to heavy loads. Check the bracing and fixed floor anchors. If they are damaged or broken in any way, replace them to prevent the collapse of the racking frame.
Another thing you should check during the inspection is the beam. Check both the front and rear beams for bends. It’s common for the forklift driver to underestimate the distance between the forklift and pallet beams. When that happens, the forklift collides with the beams and distorts them.
2. Custom Protection
Your pallet racking system should have protective netting to prevent loads from falling off in the event of a natural calamity like an earthquake or a forklift accident.
You should also protect the beams from forklifts. In the previous point, we talked about how forklift drivers can accidentally hit and deform beams. Replacing beams is a costly and time-consuming endeavor. To prevent disruption of warehouse activity, install rack-end protectors to safeguard the beams. The protectors form a barrier around the beams. That means the forklift driver will hit the barrier instead of the beams.
Pallet racking systems should have weight limit labels to guide the workers. If a pallet system receives more load than it can handle, the beams will give in to the excess weight. To avoid spending so much on maintenance, label the rows according to their weight limits.
When buying labels, go for polyester labels instead of paper ones because they last longer. Also, the font should be large and visible for everyone to read.
4. Loading Safety
Warehouse supervisors and forklift drivers should work together to ensure there are no accidents during loading. The supervisor should show the driver where to place the loads. All loads must be stored according to their size and weight. It’s advisable to store heavy loads on the bottom racks and light loads on the top racks. This arrangement allows weight to be distributed evenly across the system.
During loading, forklift drivers should give special attention to the load dimensions. If the load is too small for a particular area, it can lead to a waste of space. On the other hand, if the load is too large for an area, it may make the system collapse.
All loads placed on the pallet racks should be tightened and locked in place to prevent accidents and movement.
5. Clear the Aisles
There should be designated pathways for forklifts to minimize collision with workers. The forklift driver should be extra careful when driving in the warehouse. They should check for pedestrians.
However, it’s also the responsibility of workers to be safe. A forklift carrying a large load limits the driver’s visibility. That means that a driver can knock over someone without knowing it.
In the likely event that a driver sees a worker on the aisles, they may try to steer away and end up knocking and damaging the racking beams. To keep everyone safe, workers should stay away from the aisles during loading and unloading.
To conclude, a pallet racking system is susceptible to damage caused by constant collision with forklifts and overweight loads. Use the above tips to guarantee the safety of your system and workers.
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