How often should warehouse racking be inspected? 

In order to provide a safe working environment for employees, warehouse racking should be regularly inspected.

In fact, routine warehouse racking inspections can be one of the best ways to keep your products and employees safe. Keeping an eye out for damaged racking can reduce safety risks that could cost time and money later on. 


When it comes to inspection frequencies or when they are required, no clear rules specify when they should occur. It will vary depending on the warehouse’s size and pace of operations. Three different types of rack inspections are listed below: 


Internal walkthroughs and visual inspections: recommended on a daily or weekly basis to check for obvious issues such as deformed uprights, damaged beams, etc. 

Operational inspections: integrated into a monthly or quarterly routine, carried out by trained warehouse staff to maintain a safe and efficient warehouse environment. 

Expert inspections: performed by a 3rd party (ideally a professional engineering firm), recommended annually. These inspections are extremely thorough and provide a comprehensive evaluation of your rack systems, including identifying damages, potential risks, and actionable recommendations. 


Listed below are some factors to consider in determining the likelihood of damage in your warehouse: 

  • High frequency of forklift circulation between the aisles. 
  • Narrow aisles. 
  • Lack of safety training and awareness. 
  • Harsh operating environments (freezers, etc.) and inadequate lighting. 
  • Corrosion due to the environment or types of products being stored. 
  • Overloading. 
  • In-house modifications, such as welded uprights or beams. 


Aside from regularly scheduled inspections, there may be circumstances or events that prompt the need for an expert inspection.  


Listed below are a few examples of situations when you may need to have your racking systems inspected by a trained professional: 

  • After a new rack installation, you may need it validated by a 3rd party, ideally by a professional engineering firm. 
  • When an accident, collapse, or earthquake occurs. 
  • As part of a corporate safety initiative. 
  • Before or after a regulatory rack safety audit from OSHA (US) or governing safety bodies like the Ministry of Labour (Canada). 
  • In the event of a warehouse pre-purchase or a change of tenant. 
  • For performance benchmarking purposes. 
  • When there is a rack reconfiguration or beam level change, a recertification of the rack system is required. An inspection is also recommended at this time. 
  • When your documentation is incomplete or you cannot find your LARC drawings (Load Application and Rack Configuration). In this case, a load capacity certification is necessary since having rated load capacities (and load capacity labels or plaques) for all racks is required.