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Racking safety

Updated: Nov 25, 2019


In lieu of the recent rack collapse in the UK (http://goo.gl/aB99fO), a lesson to us all must be learnt about preventative safety measures in the warehouse.

In my humble opinion, the British are the most safety conscious people I have ever encountered. For this incident to take place in their country is a big deal and it illustrates that you can never be too prepared. The amount of customers I have seen throughout my years in the industry who have no rack protection at all is downright scary.


Even though I live in a seismic area where racking should ideally be designed to seismic standards, I always maintain that a rack collapse is much more likely to occur by a forklift impact than from an earthquake. Think about it; material handling equipment can get to some serious speed and with a loaded pallet you are talking > 2.5 tons of static load; imagine all that mass being applied as force to a rack frame which is loaded with tons of goods. 

So in short, here are the preventative measures you should take:

install rack protection everywhere (see my previous article on warehouse safety for a guide)clearly mark forklift traffic aisles in yellow to be visible to pedestrians, or segregate pedestrians by means of barrierscarry out a rack inspection at least once per year and following that fix any damaged parts immediatelyIf any impact occurs that damages the rack, unload the affected area immediately and report it to your safety officerapply load signs on each rack row indicating the max allowed capacitydo not move beam levels without consulting your rack supplier; this could weaken the structure considerably

Don't wait for the incident to happen. Act now.


In lieu of the recent rack collapse in the UK (http://goo.gl/aB99fO), a lesson to us all must be learnt about preventative safety measures in the warehouse.

In my humble opinion, the British are the most safety conscious people I have ever encountered. For this incident to take place in their country is a big deal and it illustrates that you can never be too prepared. The amount of customers I have seen throughout my years in the industry who have no rack protection at all is downright scary.

Even though I live in a seismic area where racking should ideally be designed to seismic standards, I always maintain that a rack collapse is much more likely to occur by a forklift impact than from an earthquake. Think about it; material handling equipment can get to some serious speed and with a loaded pallet you are talking > 2.5 tons of static load; imagine all that mass being applied as force to a rack frame which is loaded with tons of goods. 

So in short, here are the preventative measures you should take:

install rack protection everywhere (see my previous article on warehouse safety for a guide)clearly mark forklift traffic aisles in yellow to be visible to pedestrians, or segregate pedestrians by means of barrierscarry out a rack inspection at least once per year and following that fix any damaged parts immediatelyIf any impact occurs that damages the rack, unload the affected area immediately and report it to your safety officerapply load signs on each rack row indicating the max allowed capacitydo not move beam levels without consulting your rack supplier; this could weaken the structure considerably

Don't wait for the incident to happen. Act now.


#safety #racking #logistics

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