Being an important aspect of the supply chain, warehouses can receive significant downtime in the case of damage to racks or their collapse. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has rules in place that state, “Where mechanical handling equipment is used, sufficient safe clearances shall be allowed for aisles, at loading docks, through doorways and wherever turns or passage must be made.”
In this article, we will find out the ways to improve warehouse rack safety.
- Choosing your rack: This is the most important factor as there are various kinds of racks in the market. You must get the right kind of rack according to the product being stored, handling method, and the area. It is important to choose a rack that can handle the weight and dimensions of your products. Also, you should choose the rack according to the material handling methods you use, like forklifts or other vehicles. It is advisable to consult a qualified expert before putting together a warehouse.
- Employee training: Ensure your forklift operators have received adequate training to place pallets properly on racks. Conduct awareness training with employees who work in the rack system to ensure they are using it properly and are well aware of the load tolerances. To prevent accidents involving vehicles and other heavy equipment around the warehouse, make sure only certified workers use them and follow strict guidelines.
- Don’t exceed rack capacity: This is an obvious way to improve warehouse rack safety but it can’t be emphasized enough as it’s all too common for warehouse operators to push the limits and overload their racks in spite of knowing this. Keep documentation of each rack’s load capacity and file it so it’s easily accessible to everyone working with them.
- Install protection devices: Overhead height restrictors provide vehicle drivers with visual guidance and warn them if their vehicle or load is too high. Protective safety products offer physical protection if a collision occurs by cushioning and deflecting impact forces. Guarding and post protectors can keep forklifts from directly hitting the rack.
- Handle pallets the right way: Your workforce should be adept in handling the pallets and placing them on racks. Pallets should be placed square and evenly. In case you notice damaged pallets, replace them immediately.
- Keep the aisles clear: Operating forklifts can be an incredibly hazardous job, evident from the number of accidents that happen involving them; especially if safety measures are not implemented and enforced. Aisles must be kept clear at all times for ease of access, as any obstruction could lead to serious injury or damage to warehouse equipment or products. Obstructions in aisles increase the chances of forklift collisions in your warehouse.
- Regular inspection of racks: You should implement regular inspections of the racks of your warehouse. Workers should report any damage to a supervisor immediately, so it can be inspected and assessed. All safety risks related to operation or maintenance of the racking should be reported to management immediately.