Rack damage is inevitable in a warehouse. Forklifts which weigh between 5 and 10 tons are zooming around and retrieving pallets from great heights. If concrete bollards and building columns are able to be damaged by equipment flying by, pallet racks can surely become damaged from even the slightest bump of a forklift. The best way to keep pallet racks protected from forklifts lies with the initial warehouse layout. Warehouses which utilize forklifts should be laid out with wide aisles where machinery can safely maneuver without running too much risk of constantly running into pallet racks. However, not all warehouses have the means to lay out so much unused space between racks where forklifts can operate. Here are some other tips for preventing rack damage in your warehouse.
Know your Rack Dealer. Be sure you are using a reputable dealer for your pallet racks. Nothing is worse than paying money for pallet racks which are sub-par. Use a dealer who will sell you pallet racks which are made of the best materials which will stand the test of time.
Know your Product. If your warehouse is handling large items which must be moved by forklift, be sure you know exactly how much room your forklifts need to be able to safely move the items. While you may not have the warehouse space for extra wide aisles across the entirety of the warehouse floor, you should at least have wide aisles in areas where large products are being moved.
Add Reinforcements. Install column guards onto building columns. Column guards are especially useful at intersections as traffic can become hazardous in those areas and forklifts are more likely to bump into columns there. Also add reinforcements to the ends of aisles as forklifts are more likely to run into racks in those areas.
Report All Forklift and Rack Accidents. Any accident which occurs with a forklift or pallet rack should be immediately reported and inspected. Even if the accident is minor, there could still be damage to the pallet rack which could compromise the safety of the rack and the safety of those who are picking from the rack.
Perform Annual Inspections. You could either use a local rack expert or an employee who is capable of performing a rack inspection to make sure racks are up to par. If the racks are damaged or have structural issues, they should be repaired or replaced. The weight capacity of the racks should also be double checked to ensure that they are not being overloaded.