Unsafe racking and shelving systems are not only great hazards to warehouse workers, they can ultimately be very expensive in terms of lost business opportunities, damaged products, customer dissatisfaction and damage to the brand and corporate reputation. In order to prevent unfavorable incidents due to faulty or unsafe racking systems, it is critical that regular inspections are carried out and also frequent maintenance operations performed for optimum performance of all equipment.
Ensure the following tips in order to keep your warehouse in efficient condition:
- The racking system should be used according to the dimensions specified by the equipment supplier like size and weight of the product/pallet.
- The structural integrity of all racks and beams should be confirmed and any damage should be brought to the notice of equipment manufacturer immediately to get it repaired or replaced without delay.
- Check for safety locks on beams; any damaged or broken locks should be replaced immediately.
- The replacement of uprights, beams, clips, locks, bracings, etc. should always be taken from the original equipment supplier. For these, inspection/engineering reports should be recorded to confirm quality and integrity of the products.
- Check for powder coating damage and exposed bare metal as it need to be cleaned and painted to prevent environmental damage and rusting.
- Install safety accessories such as column guards and rack protectors to minimize the lateral force and damage to the racking.
- Check pallets at regular intervals for damage, cracks or breaks.
- Ensure that all nuts, bolts and other hardware are well tightened at all times.
- Training warehouse personnel about proper forklift use and loading/unloading techniques will increase their awareness and sense of responsibility towards maintaining safe environment in the warehouse.
- At various conspicuous points in the warehouse, safe operating instructions should be displayed for all workers to see and adhere to.
- Regular inspections by independent or authorized persons should be carried out to check for the following critical aspects.
- Are there any racking parts protruding?
- Are beams overloaded? Is the maximum load limit adhered to?
- Are the beams deflection within limits?
- Are all welds in undamaged condition?
- Are all safety locks, clips and connectors in place?
- Are any rack bracing damaged?
- Are there adequate floor fixings present?
Taking care of regular maintenance is a mundane task yet, it is the most important activity that needs to be carried out with meticulousness and uniformity. Neglecting this aspect of warehouse management can prove to be harmful to the employees as well as to the business. Conversely, safe operations due to well-maintained equipment will ensure high productivity and better usage of time and resources.