Pallet racks are a great way to organize your warehouse and maximize the space. Items that are stored on pallets can be placed on racks that are two, three or four levels tall, helping you to store items vertically. However, accidents can occur which can damage the pallet racks. When this occurs, your inventory and even employees can be hurt. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to help keep the pallet racks safe and functional. Here are three tips to you with this task.
Properly Maintain Your Pallet Racks
One of the best ways to keep your pallet racks safe and functional is to routinely check and tighten bolts and rivets. These bolts and rivets help secure the racks to the ground while also holding the shelves in place. As your racks are used, the bolts and rivets may loosen. Tightening these as needed helps ensure the items are as strong as they are designed to be so you don't have racks that tip over or shelves that collapse.
Another thing you can do to maintain your pallet racks is to clean them regularly. Removing dirt and dust from the racks may make working conditions better in your warehouse. However, cleaning can also help reduce rust on the racks. Over time, rust can develop on your metal racks, especially if your warehouse has a high humidity level. Rust can eat through the metal, weakening it. This means that your racks won't be able to support as much weight as they are designed to. Cleaning your racks on a routine basis helps you to catch and remove rust before it becomes a big issue. The best way to clean industrial pallet racks is to remove product from the racks, then wipe them down with soapy water. You can use either dish soap or your preferred metal cleaner. Once you have cleaned the racks, remove any rust with a wire brush and a rust removing spray, available at any home improvement store. Once you are done with cleaning and rust removal, be sure to wipe them down with a water-dampened cloth and then dry them to prevent rust in the future.
Protect Them against Accidents with Forklifts
Having trained employees operate forklifts is one of the best ways to keep your other employees safe and protect the items stored in your warehouse. However, even the best-trained forklift driver can have an accident. When you have racking installed throughout your warehouse, it can be a challenge to maneuver the forklift and the racks can get hit. Each time the racking is hit, it weakens the metal and causes items on the rack to shift. Installing steel guard rails or post protectors will help protect your pallet racks, as the forklift driver will hit these posts, not the ones supporting your pallet rack shelving system.
Carefully Track the Weight on the Racks
The last way to keep your industrial pallet racks safe and functional is to carefully track the weight of the items on the pallet as they are placed on or removed from the shelf. If the weight capacity of your pallet rack is exceeded, your pallet rack can tip over or the racks can break. Keep a log on the rack that details what items are placed on the rack, their weight, and when items are removed. This tells you how much weight is on a rack at any given time. Make sure your employees are aware of this and track items correctly to help prevent overloading a pallet rack.
Properly maintaining your pallet racks, protecting them from fork lift accidents, and tracking the amount of weight placed on them can prevent common accidents from occurring. This can help extend the lifespan of the industrial pallet racks while also keeping your inventory and employees safe from harm. To learn more about pallet rack safety, speak with a representative from a company like Certified Handling Systems.