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    How to keep shelving safe and secure in your warehouse

    Pallet racking is a complete lifesaver in your warehouse because it can store really heavy goods and keep everything properly organised. However, it can have the opposite effect when used incorrectly, so follow these simple rules to make sure that your pallet racking is safe and none of your employees are at risk of a severe injury or worse. 

    Inspect regularly

    You need to take a close look at your pallet racking at regular intervals to ensure that the feet of each rack are firmly and evenly placed on the ground and that they are securely anchored. Check that the beams carrying loads, the uprights and the fasteners are level and not bent. Bowing or bending are signs that the racking is failing and needs to be addressed urgently.

    In addition, you should carry out a detailed check for damage such as dents, splits or rust. Rust is a particular problem if you are storing chemicals because they can weaken the metal if they leak. Similarly, if you high-humidity environments can cause rust. 

    The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) publishes a guide that includes advice on how to inspect racking properly, and this applies equally to industrial shelving in Ireland https://www.rackzone.ie/shelving/industrial-residential-shelving.

    Investigate after every forklift contact

    If a forklift bumps the rack or gets too close during a loading or unloading operation, the rack can be damaged. This is not something to ignore because damage from equipment such as forklifts is the most common reason for the collapse of pallet racking systems. Even minor damage can compromise the rack’s ability to hold its current load. After every bump, take a good look at the rack to ensure that there is no bending of the load-bearing surfaces and that uprights and horizontals still fit together firmly,

    Train employees to work safely

    Don't just train employees to operate a forklift; train them to operate it safely and ensure that they understand the consequences if they don't adopt safe working practices. Another reason for pallet racking collapses is that workers have loaded the shelves way beyond the weight that they can hold. Make sure that everyone in the warehouse knows why they need to work safely and takes their safety and that of their fellow employees seriously.

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