WAREHOUSE SAFETY QUIZ QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

How often should I get my pallet racks inspected?
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Rack inspections help ensure that the systems are well-maintained and the safety of workers is not compromised. There is no official rule on the frequency of rack inspections. Industry guidelines recommend the regular inspection of racking systems, and this will depend on the type of activity occurring in your warehouse or distribution center.

Here's what's recommended:

  • Yearly inspection by a third party offering an independent report or audit on the rack's conformity
  • Monthly inspections by trained warehouse employees
  • Ongoing inspections - to report and address issues as they occur.

More information on when to inspect.

What documentation should I have readily available for my racks?
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Pallet rack owners and operators are responsible for displaying the max load capacity of the racking systems, and the labels or plaques should refer to the Load Application and Rack Configuration (LARC) drawings. These documents should always be on-hand as they convey important information about the safe storage capacity of a given rack bay or aisle in the warehouse.

Additionally, we recommend keeping the following:

  • Inspections reports
  • Employee training records
  • Any repairs, modifications and stamped engineer drawings related to the systems
How should load capacities be displayed on my racks?
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To display the load capacity of a racking system you can use adhesive labels placed on the first beam elevation, at eye-level. If your racks have the same load capacity throughout, you can use rated load plaques to remind the forklift operators of the load capacity before entering an aisle. These plaques generally include the maximum bay capacity, maximum beam capacity and the details about the rack's manufacturer with a project date.

Learn more

What should I do if I see damaged racks in my warehouse?
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When you notice a damaged rack, the safest thing to do it to report it and document the damage, with pictures and a date, this way, you can track the issue. Then, you can unload that part of the rack until it is repaired or replaced.

Talk to an expert to get a free assessment.

When should rack load capacities be re-evaluated?
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Rack load capacity should be re-evaluated when there have been modifications made to the rack or if you cannot find the rated load capacity supplied by the rack manufacturer. Damotech's engineers offer load capacity calculation services for any type of pallet racking system.
Should rack aisles always be free of any pallets or other obstructions on the floor?
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Rack owners and warehouse operator must ensure that rack aisles are free of any pallets or obstructions on the floor to allow for lift trucks to be driven safety and for merchandise to be loaded and unloaded into the racks in the safest manner. We call this good housekeeping!

What are acceptable beam deflections?
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We've written a full article on everything there is to know about beam deflection!

When heavy loads are applied to beams, the beams may begin to sag. This is also called a deflection, which is the degree to which a structural element is displaced under a load. The deflection of beams is permitted but only to a certain limit: Horizontal length of the beam (L) / 180 = Maximum deflection.

Beam_Deflection_Rule-1

This is stated in Section 5.3 of RMI’s ANSI MH16.1-2012: Specification for the Design, Testing and Utilization of Industrial Steel Storage Racks.

How should I keep records of my inspections or recorded deficiencies?
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Traditionally, warehouse rack inspections have been recorded on paper, but today, you can track issues digitally, to simplify the process and facilitate the reporting of issues or rack deficiencies.

For example, by using technology like our platform, you can take a picture of a damage, label it with a priority and report it immediately. When you manage your inspections digitally, it greatly facilitates the sorting of issues found, and it keeps a history of your past inspections, all in one place!

Are in-house welded repairs a good idea?
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Field welding or welding a reinforcement on existing racks may seem like a simple and inexpensive way of repairing a damaged rack, but this option poses a risk to the safety of your system.

Since it's difficult to test the result of the weld and guarantee a resistance at least equal to that offered by the original rack component, there are strong recommendations against field welding in a warehouse on existing pallet racking.

This is outlined in Appendix 1 of RMI’s  “Guideline for the Assessment and Repair or Replacement of Damaged Rack"

You can try a bolted solution instead.

How should my warehouse racks be protected?
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Protecting you pallet rack uprights will safeguard them against damage caused by fork lifts and extend the life of your storage systems. It will also make your warehouse much safer!

You can start by adding rack guard or protection in high traffic areas or on parts of the rack that are more prone to accidents, such as the end of aisles or the shipping and receiving area of a warehouse.

You can also protect other other parts of  your warehouse, such as building columns or pedestrian walkways, with heavy duty guarding solutions.

Should warehouse building columns and equipment be protected?
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The building columns in your warehouse should be protected as damage to these structural load-bearing elements are costly to fix and pose a risk to the structural integrity of the building.

The Damo Shield is a 360-degree column protector that can be tailored to the shape of your columns, to protect them from all impacts, especially the nasty ones caused by forklifts and their blades.

Any other building elements or valuable equipment can be protected with our custom fences or guardrails.

What types of accessories should be installed to prevent pallets from falling?
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The risk of product or pallets falling from a rack can be minimized with the use of fall protection accessories. A wide range of products can protect your warehouse aisles from falling objects or merchandise:

  • Safety bars: they can be installed on load supporting beams to prevent the loads from falling.
  • Pallet support bars: are designed to support the load and prevent having to deposit the pallets directly onto the beams.
  • Pallet stoppers: protect walls or back frames against pallet impact at floor level.
  • Wire-mesh decking  or netting: to help catch boxes that could be inadvertently knocked off a stored pallet.
  • Row spacers: They don't prevent falls, but they will increase the stability of your racking systems.

These accessories are common, relatively inexpensive, and will increase the level of safety in a warehouse. Did you know that Damotech is part of ProGMA, the Protective Guarding Manufacturers Association? Members are the Industry’s leading suppliers of fixed protective guarding products designed to protect personnel, equipment, and inventory in industrial facilities.

How should I protect warehouse employees and walkways?
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Several things can be done to protect workers and pedestrians in a warehouse environment:

  • Keep heavy load at the base or bottom of the rack.
  • Separate pedestrian traffic from fork lift traffic, by using clear signage and guard rails or fences to divide the two types of circulations.
  • Use fall protection accessories to limit or prevent any objects, boxes or pallets from falling out of the rack, which could injure workers walking or working below.
  • Train employees on the hazards surrounding racking and encourage them to report any issues they find.
  • Install post guards on the base of rack the uprights.
  • Schedule regular inspections of the systems.
Who needs to be trained on rack safety?
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Anyone working near or within racks can benefit from extra pallet rack safety training: This includes senior management and supervisors in health and safety, operations, risk management, maintenance all the way to the forklift operators. Some of the benefits of rack safety training are:

  • A safer workplace and workforce
  • Reduced injuries, liability, insurance premiums
  • Lower maintenance costs
  • Extend the life of racks
  • Avoid loss of property, product, and equipment
  • Avoid OSHA fines
How wide should my rack aisles be?
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Rack aisles need to be wide enough to allow the safe circulation and maneuvering of forklifts. To find out what space is required in your aisles with the equipment you are using, use a formula or refer to the forklift manufacturer’s recommendations. At a minimum, the width should be equal to the width of the loaded forklift, plus 12 inches. Read more

How can I measure and monitor rack safety in my warehouse?
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To assess the level of safety of your racking systems, schedule a conformity inspection performed by an experienced engineer or rack specialist. This thorough inspection will result in a stamped report. Use the findings to flag issues and track them, either by using a spreadsheet or by reviewing the results of the inspection in Damotech's rack inspection management platform.

What kind of protection should warehouse employees wear?
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It largely depends on the nature of the work performed by the employees in the warehouse. Because their job involves working in a hazardous environment, workers will be required to wear various equipment that protects them from hazards. Some common Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):

  • Safety shoes (steel toe)
  • Hard hat
  • Safety vest or jacket
  • Gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Earplugs

With few exceptions, OSHA requires employers to provide personal protective equipment used to comply with OSHA standards. The standard makes clear that employers cannot require workers to provide their own PPE. Employers are also responsible for making sure that PPE requirements are being followed in the workplace.

Who is accountable for safety in a warehouse?
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A warehouse's safety involves everyone that works in it. It starts with a management plan that includes on-going training, regular safety meetings, implementation of prevention measures, and safety strategies. Employers must oversee employees in safe practices and procedures. Concerning accountability, they must take reasonable measures to require employee compliance. In other words, while employers are responsible for providing a safe workplace, workers are responsible for respecting safety measures and having a safe behaviour at work.

WAREHOUSE SAFETY ASSESSMENT QUIZ

A damaged rack in your warehouse can significantly impact operations. One incident can cause loss of time, money, productivity - and sometimes, cause serious injury. This is why safety measures should be in place and to maintain the safety of your workers. Want to know where you stand on the topic of rack and warehouse safety? Fill out this free self-assessment questionnaire to find all the answers you are looking for. We'll give you your rack safety score, and give you some quick tips on how to improve!

Topics: Warehouse Safety Risk, Rack Safety, Assessment, Evaluation, Quiz, Questionnaire, Questions, Safety Tips, Warehouse Safety Checklist.

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Guide to Pallet Rack Protection & Repair

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