Pallet racks are used in the warehouse to increase the storage capacity of the warehouse. Installing pallet racks also ensures that the workers can work more efficiently in the warehouse. Today we will discuss the warehouse pallet racking inspection guide.
To help you save time, we have made a pallet racking inspection checklist template for you, click on it to download the pallet racking inspection checklist.
A visual check of pallet racking is done during a racking inspection to ensure the racking is fit for use. Warehouse rack systems are designed to perform with excellence. Additionally, it supports product loads that are many times heavier than themselves.
Warehouse racks are not a single structure. Rather they are made from many components. Some of the important components of the pallet racks are shims, beams, baseplates, wire decking, etc.
Components like these and some other components constitute a complete pallet rack in the warehouse. If any of these components aren’t installed properly, there is always a chance of the pallet rack collapsing.
Any damage to even a part of the rack could result in serious potential harm and operational failure. That’s why it is very important to inspect warehouse Racks from time to time. In this article, we will explain the following things:
This article will be especially beneficial for the following group of people:
- Warehouse owners and managers who want to know about the pallet racking inspection process.
- Warehouse owners who are planning to hire a pallet racking inspection professional or company.
- Academicians and researchers who want to know about the pallet racking inspection process in great detail.
Why Is It Necessary To Carry Out A Pallet Racking Inspection?
Pallet racking inspection can save a warehouse from racking accidents. In a warehouse, pallet racks have to hold many products. Loading and unloading of the products are done regularly. So, it is very natural for any warehouse racks to get damaged.
Inspection of pallet racks ensures that if any pallet rack gets damaged, it is properly noticed. Now, we will describe the top 3 reasons why it is necessary to carry out a warehouse racking inspection:
Ensures A Safer Environment For The Workers And The Goods
We know the warehouse rack holds heavy products in it. If a pallet rack collapses, these goods can get destroyed. As a result, warehouse owners may have had to face a huge loss. But if the racking inspection is done on time, the collapse of the racks may be prevented.
In addition, many workers work in a warehouse environment. The warehouse owners have to ensure a safe working environment to work in. If the pallet rack collapses, the worker can get injured as a result.
If a worker gets injured due to rack collapse, it will create panic among other workers. This may prompt other workers to leave the warehouse. If incidents like these happen in a warehouse, it may affect the warehouse financially too.
But only if rack inspections are done, situations like these can be easily avoided. Both the workers and the goods will remain safe as damage to the racks can be identified. To know about pallet racking safety in great detail, pallet racking safety will be extremely helpful.
Helps To Save Money
You may think that how can a rack inspection save money for a business? Doesn’t a business have to pay extra fees for the inspection of the racks if done by a professional?
A warehouse rack is an expensive item. For instance, a mobile racking system may cost $165-$180 for each pallet. Read pallet racking cost to know in great detail about the pallet racking cost.
Yes, it indeed costs money to do a pallet racking inspection. However, it also helps to identify the repairs that need to be done at an early stage.
A warehouse’s best interest will be to repair a pallet rack if it gets damaged. And the repairing of the pallet racks can only be done if the damage is identified early. So, a rack can become reusable if the inspection is done on time.
Thus, by identifying the damage to the racks, racking inspection sometimes helps to save money. Because, if the warehouses were to buy racks after it collapses, it would cost them a lot of money.
In addition, if a rack collapses, the goods that were stored on the racks may get destroyed. Doing the warehouse racking inspection at the right time also helps to prevent rack collapse.
As a result, the chances of accidents like rack collapse lessens and the goods remain safe on racks.
Immunity From Legal Proceeding In Case Of Any Accident Occurs With The Pallet Racks
We know that accident can still happens sometimes despite taking all the precautionary measures. Sometimes unfortunate accidents may happen in a warehouse and a pallet rack may get collapsed.
If a warehouse owner does regular rack inspection, they can claim legal immunity in case of rack collapse. They can show their evidence of inspection to the courts.
If an accident occurs despite a racking inspection, doing an inspection will help the owner to achieve legal immunity. However, if the racking inspection wasn’t done properly, the owner can be held liable for racking collapse.
So, these are the 3 main reasons that show the necessity to carry out racking inspection.
When Should I Perform A Pallet Racking Inspection?
There is no set guideline or rule about how frequent a warehouse racking inspection should be.
We will suggest you carry out a pallet racking inspection by a professional at least once a year.
You can hire Mracking for the pallet racking inspection of your warehouse.
There can be two types of pallet racking inspection based on who is doing it. For instance,
- Pallet racking Inspection is done by a pallet racking professional.
- Pallet racking Inspection is done by an amateur (workers or managers of the warehouse).
The workers and managers should often inspect the warehouse racks as part of their weekly / monthly routine. If inspection is done by the workers and managers, it will help them to identify damages to the racks.
Although the inspection done by them will not be as perfect as the professional rack inspector. However, still it may prove to be very helpful to identify and racking damage. The workers and managers should receive minimal training on warehouse racking inspection if they want to do it.
A Detailed Guide And Explanation Of The Process Of The Pallet Rack Inspection.
There are some steps you should do before the start of the warehouse racking inspection. You should book an inspection service provider. You should let them know the number of pallet racks you want them to inspect. This will help them to quote an accurate price for their service.
After you have booked an inspection service provider, you should also know the inspection process. You should know about the inspection process to ensure that the inspection service provider is doing their duty properly.
Also, in this article, we will try to explain the warehouse inspection process. After reading this article properly, someone can inspect many parts of the racks by themselves. However, we will still suggest you inspect the pallet racks with a professional at least once a year.
A detailed explanation of the warehouse pallet racking inspection guide is as follows:
Inspection Of The Environment Of The Racks
It’s an important part of the rack inspection to check the environment in which the rack is kept. The following things should be checked while inspecting the rack environment:
It’s very important to check if the aisle area is free of obstacles. This enables the drivers of the vehicles to choose the safest route. Additionally, it aids in keeping a secure gap between racking structures and forklifts.
Checking The Rack Protection
The cost of rack protectors is not very high. It can greatly increase the lifespan and security of your rack. Rack guards can bolster the uprights of the rack and other parts and deflect impact in high-risk locations.
A simple technique to assist forklift workers at your facility is to install adequate lighting. As a result, they can observe any potential barriers, such as rack uprights in their way.
Inspection of the environment of the rack is no difficult task. Warehouse managers and workers can do it by themselves. An ideal rack inspector should also check the rack environment at the time of the racking inspection.
Checking The Uprights Of The Racks
Uprights are an essential part of the warehouse racks. Look for any bending or fractured welds in the horizontal braces. Are there any paint scuffs on the upright that would suggest a collision with the forklift trucks?
The upright capacity might be decreased by even minimal damage. If the upright is damaged, it must be replaced or repaired straight away.
How To Check The Level Of Damage Of The Upright In Pallet Racking Inspection?
Start by measuring the distance by placing a straight edge down the surface of a fractured rack upright’s concave side. As much as you can, position the straight edge here on the length of the damaged portion.
Then you should calculate the space that is between the straight edge and the upright. The damage can cause the upright to bend more than a very few millimeters overall. If so, you should substitute or repair it.
Checking If The Column Protectors Are Properly Installed And Footplates And Bracing
The racks can be greatly protected from harm by guard rails as well as aisle-end protection. It guarantees the security of both the employees and the equipment. You should do a more thorough inspection if you are using column protectors and discover damage.
You should also check if the footplates are anchored to the ground or not. Find out if the shim stack fits properly behind the foot plates or not.
Check for the braces too. Make a careful inspection for any twisting or other forms of damage.
These are the ways through which you can check the uprights in the racking inspection.
Inspection Of The Beams Of The Racks
Over 1/180th of the beam’s whole length should not bow. Under a load, beams naturally deflect, and some degree of deflection is permissible. However, it ought to vanish after you remove the beams.
The beams must be changed if it doesn’t because overloading or impacts have caused them to become distorted.
Find Out If The Bolts Or Other Types Of Beam Attachments Are Securely Fastened Or Not
In addition to the teardrop or keyhole, the majority of racks include some type of connector hardware. To ensure a secure fit and safety, they apply it. Some people even mix up their techniques. Check thoroughly to find out whether the attachment is properly fastened or not.
You should also inspect the surface of the beam. While inspecting the surface of the beams, look for the following things:
- If there is any kind of distortion or dents.
- If there is any visual evidence of a collision.
The Attachment Of The Beams To The Uprights
You should also inspect if the uprights are strongly embedded with beams. Check for any damaged welds or other indications of degradation.
If The Assembly Of The Pallet Racks Are Done Properly Or Not
You should also inspect to find out if any of the components are missing or not. Find out if there are loosely connected components. If you find out any loosely connected components, try to fix them immediately. The following components should be checked:
- Safety bars.
- Safety clips.
Look for misassembled, incompatible, or poorly repaired parts during the warehouse racking inspection. Find out if there are safety nets or pallet stops next to the service aisles.
Checking The Rack’s Weight Capacity
Overloading is one of the main reasons behind the warehouse racking collapse. To know more about the reasons for the warehouse racking collapse, read warehouse racking collapse.
Keep in mind that when loaded equally, beams have a capacity factor per pair. For their capacity ratings, uprights heavily rely on beam spacing. While inspecting, you should find out if the rack is overloaded or not.
If regular overloading was done to the racks, some parts of the racks may get damaged. In that case, an immediate repair or replacement is necessary.
If you want to know more about “pallet racking weight capacity”, please read pallet racking weight capacity.
Keep In Mind These Questions While Warehouse Racking Inspection
- Is the warehouse rack load capacity posted or not?
- If any components are facing corrosion? Also, it may happen that some parts of the paints of the racks have been scrapped. In that case, it indicates that the rack might have suffered a collision.
- Are the racks level? Forklift collisions could be more damaging to racks that aren’t level. And load distribution may be impacted by an uneven surface.
- Is the rack plumbed properly?
- Do all pallets fit the rack properly? Look for any damaged or overhanging pallets.
The inspector should go methodically, moving down each aisle one at a time. The racking components will be examined, and any that are broken or missing will be noted. They will also examine any potential problems that can result in racking collapse.
The inspector will provide a thorough report on the warehouse’s storage options. He should also take pictures as needed. The report will go into depth about any minor hazards.
If the inspection officer sees any damage that has high risk, he should inform the authorities immediately.
Red, Amber, And Green Colors Indicate The Level Of Damage
Sometimes, the warehouse inspection officer may mark the racks with red, green, or amber colors. Red, amber, and green colors indicate the level of the damage and the required actions. The instructions that these colors indicate are as follows:
The red color indicates the level of damage is very serious. It requires the replacement of the racks immediately. Warehouse managers must wait till the faulty material has been repaired or replaced before being used again.
This color also indicates serious damage but the damage is less compared to the red color. The racks marked at amber color shouldn’t be used until the repair of the racks or replacement was done.
The green color also indicates the damage in the pallet racks. However, the level of damage is much less, and the rack could be used in warehouse tasks. However, monitoring that rack is important, and any future damage should be immediately reported.
So, these are the steps to follow to ensure that the pallet racking inspection was done properly.
What To Do If A Pallet Rack Is Found Damaged After The Inspection?
Depending on the severity of the damage, these things can be done which are as follows:
Unloading The Racks
Warehouse pallet racks should be immediately unloaded if it is heavily damaged. Unloading the racks faster will ensure the safety of goods.
Replace It Immediately
Some damages to the pallet racks might be serious and can’t be repaired. If the damage is so serious that it can’t be repairable, the racks should be replaced.
Some damage to the racks can be repaired. If pallet rack damages can be repaired, it is economically beneficial for the warehouse. Because if they repair a pallet rack, they won’t have to buy a new one.
Workers should immediately inform the higher authority if they see any damage to the pallet racks. The higher authority should take notice of the damaged rack. They should assess the damage to the rack and take action accordingly.
Can You Do The Warehouse Racking Inspection In Warehouse By Yourself?
The answer is yes. If you want to do a pallet rack inspection in your warehouse, you can do that. Some conditions should be met if you want to do the rack inspection by yourself. These conditions are as follows:
- You have the proper knowledge required to inspect the pallet racks.
- You have the necessary tools that are needed to carry out the inspection process.
- You know the level of risk of damaged racks and the steps to take after noticing the damage.
However, it will be best if you hire a professional rack inspection officer. Generally, a professional rack inspection officer has many years of experience doing this work. Your warehouse racks will be more secure if you hire a professional rack installer.
Should You Choose A Professional Or An Amateur For The Warehouse Racking Inspection?
We have answered part of this question in our previous section. There we have advised you to hire a professional rack inspection officer for better safety of warehouse racks.
However, some warehouse owners sometimes may think to hire an amateur for pallet rack inspection. This amateur rack inspection officer could be the warehouse manager, workers, or any other person.
The reason they are called “Amateurs” as they don’t have the proper skills required to do rack inspections. Here are the top 3 reasons why we think you should hire a professional warehouse rack inspection officer:
Professional Rack Inspection Officer Can Find Very Little Damage Of The Racks
Some racks may not need immediate replacement or repair. Rather they should be monitored if any further damage was seen on the racks. A professional rack inspection officer can find even very little damage to the racks with his experienced eye.
Whereas an amateur rack inspection officer may not find little damage to the racks due to his inexperience. Not noticing little damage or crack in the rack components can be counter-productive for a rack in the future.
Complies With The Local Laws And Regulations
There are specific warehouse safety-related laws in most countries of the world. For instance, in the USA, there is an act passed named “OSHA.” The full form of OSHA means “Occupational Safety And Health Administration.”
In this act, some sections have instructions about the safety of warehouses. If you hire a professional rack inspection officer, it also indicates you are trying to keep the warehouse safe.
If the rack collapse even after the inspection by a professional rack inspector, you can also hold him liable. However, hiring an amateur rack inspector also indicates that a warehouse owner is less concerned about racking safety.
Keeps Your Warehouse Racks More Secure
We know that warehouse racks are a costly product. A pallet racking cost can be between $60-$800 depending on the rack you are using. It’s less costly to repair it before it collapses.
The rack inspection done by a professional inspection officer helps you to find out the rack’s damages. This helps you to repair the rack by spending a few dollars rather than replacing it after collapsing.
Whereas an amateur’s wrong information on the rack’s condition won’t help you address the issue of the rack’s damage. As a result, the racks may collapse. That’s why for the safety of the racks, professional inspection officers are the best choice.
So, these are the reasons why you should prefer a professional rack inspection officer over an amateur inspector.
Obeying The State, National, And Regional Law For Racking Inspection.
We know that the pallet racking system has become very popular, especially after World War II. Using pallet racks, you can easily multiply the storage facilities. The warehouse racking system is spread all over the world.
So, related to warehouse operation there might be different laws in different countries. Warehouse owners and managers should know the relevant law about rack inspection in their country.
If any specific provisions in the law talk about racking inspection, warehouse owners should follow them.
Osha Guidelines For The Pallet Racking Inspection.
The warehouses located in the USA should follow the guideline of the OSHA related to the warehouse. A qualified person who can inspect the pallet racks is defined by OSHA in 29 CFR 1910.21. (b),
“A person who, by possession of a recognized degree, certificate, or professional standing, or who by extensive knowledge, training, and experience has successfully demonstrated the ability to solve or resolve problems relating to the subject matter, the work, or the project.”
Is Warehouse Racking Inspection A Legal Requirement?
We know that different countries legislate different sets of laws to govern their country. So, if the racking inspection is a legal requirement or not, depends on the country.
Before racking inspection, you must ensure that you know the law of your country related to pallet racks.
Mracking Warehouse Racking Inspection Service.
It is best to hire a professional rack installing company or individual for warehouse racking inspection. Our inspection officer has the following quality:
- Professional pallet rack inspectors.
- Trained on warehouse pallet racking inspection process.
- Ability to assess the damage to the racks.
- Ability to create a report on the condition of the pallet racks.
In addition, Mracking offers budget-friendly services compared to many other racking inspection companies. You can schedule a call with us to know more about Mracking inspection services.
So, these are the pallet racking inspection guides. Feel free to contact us for any queries related to pallet racks.