Five common mistakes made with pallet racks

The favoured solution for warehouse storage is a pallet rack system.

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Once installed, safety should be a priority, and guidance on the use of pallet racking is published by the Health and Safety Executive.

Choose wisely

At the outset, it is important that you choose the appropriate system to suit your needs and find the provider best able to meet your requirements.

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Once the installation is in place, there are five simple rules that can help you avoid problems.

1. Protect your staff by ensuring they understand that racking systems need specialist equipment to remove stock. Employees should never climb the structure to remove items. In addition to the obvious issue of an individual falling and sustaining injuries, they may inadvertently load stress onto the structure and damage the integrity of the installation, causing a collapse.

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2. How the stock is unloaded is an important issue; aisles must be clear so forklifts and other specialist equipment can move freely without making contact with the structure. The pallet racks should be inspected regularly to ensure that they are secure and have not received accidental damage.

3. It is also necessary to check weight limits and the capacity that the racks are designed to carry.

Avoiding collapse

The provider of the system can provide the necessary information on the weights that the structure will maintain without any risk of collapse. Spreading the load is crucial. Heavier items should be loaded toward the back of a rack and at lower levels to ensure stability is maintained.

4. The structure and design of the rack will also affect which items should be loaded at any level. Wire racks will clearly not sustain the same load as a solid rack, especially if located on a tier that could be susceptible to strain given how the rack is loaded. The providers of the structure will be able to advise on appropriate loading as this is not merely a weight issue but a stacking problem.

5. Finally, the height-to-depth ratio is a factor that is often overlooked. The ratio maximum is 6:1 as the ratio of the difference between the upper beam level and the ground floor divided by the frame depth.

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