Best Practice Guide for Storage and Racking For Your Business
Cantilever and pallet racking are specially designed to maximise storage space while allowing easy access to goods. From cold stores to factories, the versatility of cantilever and pallet racking means they are available in a comprehensive range of loads, sizes and shapes to best suit the application.
If designed and fitted correctly, such racking is perfectly safe to use as an efficient storage system. However, there have been many cases in which racking equipment has collapsed during operation which presents a major health and safety issue in many warehouses and factories.
As a SEMA member, here at Stodec we are committed to making sure all our customers are fully equipped with stable and functional racking systems to prevent any accidents. According to Jonathan Bennett, Chairman of the SEMA Distributor Group, “It’s been estimated that there’s a racking collapse every week in the UK, fortunately most collapses don’t cause serious injury or fatality but prosecution under corporate manslaughter legislation remains a distinct possibility.”
With this alarming statistic in mind, our experts have put together an informative guide which explains the correct practice when using racking for a safer workplace.
Users of the racking equipment must be fully trained and kept up-to-date with the latest industry developments, ensuring all work is carried out safely and in line with official regulations. They must be familiar with:
- the dangers of re-arranging the configuration of the racking and the associated warning signs
- the signage which displays the safe working load criteria and warns of the potential dangers; keep an eye out for the SEMA logo to ensure the storage equipment complies with industry standards
- the signage which provides advice on the maintenance requirements of the system
Staff are urged to immediately report any racking suspected unsafe in the workplace, and must clearly understand the correct protocol to follow when doing so. All faulty racking must be replaced as soon as possible by qualified installers to ensure it’s completely safe and fully functional; the racking must not be used for storage in the meantime.
The design of pallet and cantilever racking does not permit users to climb on the racks as a way of accessing goods. If personnel need to access loads stored high up on the racking structure, the appropriate equipment must be used in the correct manner. Under no circumstances should order picking or stock checking be carried out without a suitable forklift or access platform units.
Safe Storage in Operation
Key items which need particular attention include, but are not limited to, the following:
- correct placement of pallets
- clear aisles
- suitable clearance around loads
- regular maintenance; all damage must be reported
- good driver skills
Managing health and safety by carrying out regular maintenance
One of the first steps in managing health and safety in a warehouse is to carry out a detailed racking inspection to identify any hazards. By complying with this legal requirement, you’re protecting your employees and your business from any potential accidents which can cause major harm.
Major causes of collapse can be due to a number of reasons, including:
- forklift damage
- faulty installation
- lack of maintenance
- incorrect load weight
Regular maintenance on warehouse racking with low stock movement includes a thorough inspection every 12 months, while busy warehouses may require a quarterly or 6 monthly formal inspection. This ensures any damage that has been identified is corrected as quickly and efficiently as possible with minimal downtime to your business.
Our facilities at Stodec are fully stocked with a wide range of racking solutions which are all available for delivery and installation by our experienced team. These include:
- Dexion Speedlock MK3
- Dexion P90 pallet racking
- Cantilever racking for storing pipes and other long items
- Longspan hand loaded racking
From design through to fitting, our experts are on hand every step of the project to ensure all your racking requirements are met. Simply get in touch with our friendly team today by telephone or online for further information.