9 ways to prevent Pallet Rack Damage
Driver training should always be at the top of the list. Certification should be required of all forklift drivers, as well as an OSHA-approved safety course.
2. Visibility. The more a driver can see, the more safely they can perform. Adequate lighting allow's the driver to safely negotiate the aisle and have a good view of the racks.
3. Rack inspection. Pallet racks endure a lot of wear and tear. Collision with forklifts, improper loading, climbing by workers, and normal use put stress on the racks.
4. Replacement/repair. Damaged rack components should be immediately replaced or repaired.
5. Aisle clearances. Aisles should be free of clutter and have ample width for the driver to maneuver the forklift.
6. Rack loading. Racks should be properly labeled with clearly defined load tolerances. Heavier loads should be placed on the lower rack levels, and rack uprights should be designed for the heaviest weight pallets that might be stored. This may require reinforced upright columns.
7. Racking. Closed tube and high-strength structural rack uprights are more resistant to damage from collision with a forklift than are open tube rack uprights. While it may cost a little more, it will be far less costly than a rack collapse.
8. Speed Limits. Conspicuous posting of speed limits for drivers, and general warehouse safety practices, are a good way to keep employees aware and mindful of safety concerns.
9. Rack Protection. Eventually, a forklift will hit a rack. There are a number of options available to safe guard racks and prevent or limit loss from these impacts. End of aisle rack guards, low profile rack guards, and post protectors are just a few options available.
Warehouses are busy and hazardous centers of activity, and accidents will happen. However, with proper planning, employee training, and properly maintained equipment, many of them can be avoided. As the old saying goes, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."