Industrial warehouse racking is essential to load, store and unload bulky goods. However, since these structures are mostly built from either steel or aluminum and other strong metals, they tend to be used wrongly. The wrong usage exposes the employees to accidents and may cause unprecedented damage to the rack.
Therefore, keeping the racks in good condition is paramount to save money on compensation and replacements in future. The first step is conducting due diligence to ensure the integrity and safety of these structures. Here is more to learn about the mistakes to avoid when using industrial warehouse racking and improve the work environment.
1. Neglecting Regular Inspections
Ongoing inspection is crucial for industrial racking in a warehouse. Skilled operators should conduct inspections monthly and yearly by an engineering company. Without regular inspection, there could be unnoticed damages that lead to failure in the long run, causing injuries and loss of products. Only knowledgeable structural engineers should be allowed access to the rack during the inspection.
2. Tight Aisle Widths
Account for the forklift dimensions before installing pallet racks in a warehouse. The warehouse equipment determines the aisle dimensions. A limited space inhibits maneuverability which causes collisions with racking resulting in damages. The width of the standard aisles should be 3-4 feet wider than the biggest equipment in the establishment.
Also Read: Types Of Warehouse Automation To Increase Productivity
When the clearance is narrower, operators will have to work at slower speeds, slowing operations and increasing warehouse operating costs. In addition, too much clearance consumes too much space that would suffice for storage racks, so it is better to stick within limits.
3. Repairing Racks with Incompatible Components
Every racking manufacturer builds components that specifically fit a particular system. If any part of the rack becomes faulty or gets damaged, it is not appropriate to use a different part that looks similar. Installing incompatible rack components makes the structure unstable and easily detach when carrying them around. Therefore, it is critical to check the bracing, columns, beams and connectors and find the appropriate replacements.
4. Failure to Anchor Racking Systems
Efficient grounding of industrial racking systems in a warehouse must use anchoring systems. Proper anchoring will strengthen the rack against uplifts and displacements on the ground level. Racking that is not properly anchored can easily change position when hit with a forklift. As a result, the whole set-up will be distorted, prompting prolonged adjustments. Warehouses should anchor each column as per the recommendations of the manufacturer.
5. Restructuring Racking without Engineer’s Approval
Configuring the racks allows increasing or decreasing load capacities. Therefore, a manufacturer recommends load capacities according to the main configuration of the Load Application and Rack Configuration Drawings (LARC). However, it can be dangerous if reconfiguration is done without a structural engineer or a manufacturer representative. It could either lead to an overload which may crumble the structure.
6. Connecting Racks to Walls
Pallet rack manufacturers build these systems to be self-sufficient and independently functional. Therefore, warehouse walls, columns and beams are insufficient to support the racks. They cannot handle any extra load as the structure handles more bulky goods. With prolonged use of racks connecting to the building, the entire warehouse will soon come crumbling down. Therefore, warehouse operators and managers must ensure that industrial storage racks are anchored on the floor, not walls.
7. Ignoring Rack Damages
Constantly hitting the rack with equipment like forklifts and heavy metal can slowly damage the racks. Once signs of damage start showing, the best thing to do is to repair or replace the industrial racking system before it becomes a safety hazard. As such, it may cause accidents or loss of inventory that are costly to replace. Therefore, businesses must unload and use suitable signs to notify staff that a specific rack is out of service.
8. Using Racks Inappropriately
Pallet and bin storage racks are designed to hold a specific load when equally distributed on the beams. However, most industries use these racks for the wrong purposes, storing anything in them. Doing this leads to damaging the racks and the items in storage. In addition, adding components onto the rack may tamper with the load rating and risk failure.
One of the most unspoken rules of using pallet racking systems is that enterprises should ensure proper usage of forklifts. They can cause more damage to these structures or even breakdown mid operations. To avoid these mistakes, educating businesses and their employees about usage standards is crucial to maintaining a safe working environment.