A Guide to Racking Safety Awareness for Businesses

Racking safety awareness is an integral part of any business with a warehouse and a production line because it is the difference between a company that can be trusted and a company that cannot.

Like any resource in your business, racking is something that you want to make the most of yet, in order to do that, you need to be well versed in racking safety awareness. Well-used racking can increase the rate of production, the ease of getting materials from your warehouse, and the amount that you can store. All of this leads to higher profits as well as safer workplace. So here's what you need to know.

Racking System Layout
This advice is mostly relevant to start-ups, but long-established companies can also benefit from a well-designed warehouse. Not all racking is the same, and spending time researching different storage solutions before you begin production can make a big difference in the long run. A business might spend weeks thinking about the layout of a shop, and so you should be spending even more time thinking about the layout of your warehouse.

As your business grows or shrinks, your racking systems should change to reflect this. When a business starts to produce more without thinking about their warehouse, racking can become overloaded. At best, overloaded racking is inconvenient, inefficient, and difficult to use. At worst, overloaded racking is lethal.

Racking System Limitations
All racking has its limitations, and weight is not the only limitation that you need to consider. In economics, knowing your company's production possibilities frontier is vital for finding out how much you can produce. For racking safety awareness, companies need to be spending more time calculating their storage possibilities frontier. Certain kinds of pallet racking, for example, can store much more weight than certain kinds of cantilever racking. By contrast, certain kinds of cantilever racking can store much longer loads than certain kinds of pallet racking. The questions you need to ask yourself are: what do I want my company to produce? Is the amount of storage required for this amount of production possible with my current racking system? And if I store more of X in my warehouse does that mean I will have to store less of Y?

Racking Inspections and Racking Inspection Training
Depending on what country you conduct your business in, the laws on racking inspection will be different. However, the key idea is basically the same in most countries. In the United States, OSHA can either conduct a racking inspection itself or recommend that your racking is inspected by a private organization. In the United Kingdom, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) insists that racking is inspected at least once a year and recommends that businesses use a SARI (SEMA approved rack inspector) to do this.

If you feel nervous about your upcoming racking inspection, this is not a good sign. Racking inspections only take place to ensure that your business is safe and so, if you are worried about one, then it is probably because your business is not safe. Rather than waiting for the hammer to fall, you can take racking safety and racking inspections into your own hand with racking inspection training. Racking inspection training means that you and your employees can become certified to inspect racking yourselves. In the United States, this commitment to safety is rewarded by trust, as those qualified for the SHARP (Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program) can stop surprise visits from OSHA.

Like any aspect of business, racking safety awareness is a matter of knowing about your resources and how best to use them. Racking safety requires knowledge, patience, and consistent hard work, which are all of the things that make a strong business, as well. Consequently, great racking safety is an indicator of a great business.

Justin O'Sullivan is a writer and safety expert who is based in the UK. As the founder of SEMA Racking Inspections, he is a SEMA approved racking inspector providing racking inspection training.

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