Keeping your warehouse safe is vital to the efficiency of your business. If you are constantly having to deal with accidents and injuries, then the productivity of your business will surely be negatively impacted. After all, without employees to work, only so much work can be completed.
There are plenty of factors that go into ensuring your warehouse is safe to work in to promote the highest level of productivity possible. You must have working forklifts that can operate efficiently. Employees tasked with operating these forklifts must be properly certified to ensure they can safely maneuver around the warehouse. Your warehouse must be kept tidy and clean to limit the number of obstacles in workers’ paths.
However, not as many people discuss the importance of keeping your storage racks safe. This is quite surprising as these are tasked with holding and storing your products until they are ready to be shipped out. These storage racks can hold thousands of pounds worth of products and materials, so when they aren’t properly maintained, disaster can strike.
In today’s blog, Ace Equipment would like to take some time to discuss some of the best ways to keep your storage racks safe to improve the overall safety of your warehouse.
Before you even begin planning to protect your warehouse, you need to carefully choose the right kind of racking. If you’ve been in the warehousing industry for some time, then you’re aware that there are different types of racking for different jobs. Some work better in cold storage in the food industry, while others need to be stronger for industries like lumber and manufacturing.
When deciding what type of racking to get, look at the type of work you’re going to be doing. Some aspects to look for include:
If you are still unsure of the types of storage racking to get, you should contact a warehouse racking expert.
Typically, most warehouse owners safely secure their storage racks to the floor of their warehouse, but many owners do occasionally use freestanding racks. However, if you want yours to be sturdy and more stable, you should always bolt them to the floor. Concrete bolts, that are around 3.5 inches long with a diameter of about half an inch, anchor them to the warehouse floor. This gives your storage a solid base.
Even the best-trained forklift operator can make mistakes. These mistakes can lead to drastic consequences, including injuries, loss of products, and property damage. Operators often have to make sharp turns in an instant. Whenever their turns are timed incorrectly, they run the risk of driving their forklift into a storage rack, which can lead to rack frames collapsing.
Steel guardrails take the brunt of the impact of a collision. They are bolted to the ground and absorb the blow of a forklift, protecting the base of your frame. Protective bollards or posts painted with bright colors can also keep your storage racks safe from forklift collisions.
Warehouse owners commonly use column protectors to protect their frames. Similar to guardrails, they take the majority of the impact from a collision, providing a barrier between a forklift and your rack. These protectors are usually made out of steel or hard plastic.
Regardless of how busy your warehouse is, you should always make time for routine warehouse inspections. These not only include making sure the floors and aisles are clear, but it also includes ensuring your storage racks are stable and have not sustained any damage. Be on the lookout for any bending or leaning. Check to see if heavy loads are causing any sagging or signs of strain. By catching any straining or damage, you can save yourself and business a lot of time and money.
After you have chosen the correct storage for your warehouse, you should be more than aware of the kind of loads they can hold. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends that all storage racks should have a conspicuously placed label that clearly states the load capacity of a given rack. While this may seem obvious, many workplaces do not do this.
Additionally, you should train operators on how to safely position these pallets. They should never solely place loads on wire decking. Support beams should reinforce these pallets. You should always aim to place the heaviest loads closest to the ground.
You should always frequently clean your warehouse. If it isn’t, trash and debris will begin to pile up throughout the warehouse, including in the aisles where your forklifts need to navigate. If there is trash on the ground, operators don’t have the space needed to safely maneuver around the warehouse. While many forklifts are nimble and can make sharp turns easily, it can be difficult for any operator to make these turns if there is always clutter and debris in their way.
Furthermore, even if the aisles are clear, the speed limit within your warehouse should be decreased. We aren’t asking you to dramatically reduce the maximum speed to a snail’s pace, but it should be reduced significantly to force drivers to focus on their surroundings more and give them more time to react in case they are faced with an obstacle. If they are speeding and an individual or pallet is in their way, they may not be able to safely turn and miss the object or storage racks.
Your warehouse is vital to the success of your business. It needs to be operating as efficiently as possible. While this means your equipment must function properly, and your employees must be adequately trained, it also includes keeping your storage racks safe and stable. Ace Equipment understands the importance of keeping your storage protected and in top shape.