How to Avoid Rack and Pallet Damage

Have you found yourself enduring a scourge of pallet rack collapses? In the material handling industry, accidents are bound to happen. With this being said, there are many practices and approaches you can take to avoid catastrophe. One of the greatest liabilities and vulnerabilities of many enterprises is rack and pallet damage. This is often a common occurrence of everyday mistakes made while utilizing a forklift or miscellaneous warehouse devices. The good news is that there are steps you can take to avoid such an event from occurring.

Here are four ways you can improve safety in the warehouse and avoid rack and pallet damage:

1. Add guards/beams.
Adding guards and beams is a great strategy to avoid rack and pallet damage in that it protects the goods while also ensures they are safeguarded and stowed properly. As we will highlight further below, items that are not guarded or stored appropriately can be a hazard or a danger to employees and the goods themselves. According to Atlantic Rack, adding column guards and strength enhancing beams is imperative at certain locations, especially at intersections where a lot of traffic is bound to occur.

2. Conduct regular inspections.
Some pallet rack collapses are the result of materials not being properly stowed carefully or orderly. Pallet rack collapses are especially dangerous if they manifest in a mezzanine or tier. To avoid pallet rack collapses, it is ideal to stack the pallet racks safely and wrap them. It is also pertinent to stack the biggest and heaviest items on the bottom and then the lighter and smaller materials toward the top. Making sure that these practices are adhered to and are a part of the regular criterion in regular inspections. In carrying out these inspections, your organization can avoid rack and pallet damage while also reducing injuries, too.

3. Make sure aisles are wide enough.
In some cases, a novice or beginner forklift operator may take a wrong turn and the results can cause an incident where the forklifts or the pallets are damaged. In addition, this also creates peril for any staff in the area of the accident. Making sure aisles are wide enough to operate in are essential for a novice forklift operator and even for a veteran who has been in the material handling game for many years. Even experienced drives can have an off day, and as a result forklift crashes are a commonality. Widening aisles compensates for human error and reduces the likelihood of an incident, given the fact it affords any operator more time to react and respond. In addition, in the event of an incidental mishandling of the device itself, wider aisles give any operator more time to adjust.

4. Ensure appropriate training.
Whether it be curriculum geared to enhance handling of hazardous materials, information on personal protective equipment, or reviewing pertinent data such as MSDSs, regular training must be a fabric of the workplace to reduce the likelihood of rack and pallet damage. In a fast-paced and demanding environment such as a busy warehouse, it is prudent for all employees to be up to date and abreast of industry-leading safety practices and methodologies.

Tom Reddon is a Forklift Specialist and Blog Manager for National Forklift Exchange, which is located in Linwood, N.J. Connect with him via Twitter at @TomReddon.

Posted on May 03, 2017