A Rack Safety Framework

To help companies establish an effective safety program for their warehouse operations, Damotech has created a Rack Safety Flywheel using a wealth of 30+ years of experience. The Safety Flywheel comprises key components of the safety process, broken down into individual courses of action.

damotech flywheel

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When each section of the wheel is fueled with energy, the Flywheel gains momentum and spins in complete rotations. Companies can enhance rack safety in their facilities, creating a safer environment for their employees and assets and ensuring that the warehouse is safer and more secure. 


Our Rack Safety Flywheel, a visual representation of how companies can ensure the safety of their employees, assets, and warehouse operations.


A flywheel model can help a business achieve sustainable growth and success by focusing on key areas and generating momentum toward set objectives. Here are the essential elements of a flywheel model: 

  • Identify key areas and invest time and energy to create positive momentum.
  • Build on incremental gains over time to drive performance improvements.
  • Recognize the interdependence of different business areas in achieving results.
  • Fuel and spin all sectors of the flywheel to maintain momentum and effectiveness.


Damotech’s team of highly knowledgeable engineers follows a well-defined process to ensure the safety of warehouses. They have conducted rigorous inspections in thousands of facilities, including some of the largest warehouses, and have repaired numerous racks.  

Based on 30+ years of experience in warehouse safety, Damotech has created the Rack Safety Flywheel© to help companies establish an effective safety program. The Flywheel is composed of several key components: 

  • Each section on the Flywheel represents a vital aspect of a company’s rack safety process.
  • The wheel breaks down the process into individual courses of action, providing a comprehensive plan.
  • When each section of the wheel is fueled with energy, the wheel gains momentum and spins, creating a safer and more secure warehouse  environment.

Damotech’s Rack Safety Flywheel can assist companies new to rack safety or those looking to enhance their current safety program by addressing each section of the wheel and continuously improving. 


of a rack safety program

A rack safety program is essential to any successful warehouse operation. A comprehensive and well-implemented rack safety program will bring companies true peace of mind while saving money.  

It’s also worth noting that a rack safety program can be crucial in promoting health, safety, and environment (HSE) in the workplace. By implementing a comprehensive and well-executed rack safety program, companies can help ensure the health and safety of their employees, prevent accidents and injuries, and promote a safe working environment. It can, in turn, positively impact the overall HSE performance of the company. 

Employee Well-being 

Ensure employee well-being by protecting them, the equipment they use, and the merchandise they handle. A rack safety program helps prevent accidents and damage by implementing safe practices, identifying and addressing potential hazards, and ensuring workers know the proper action when rack safety issues arise. 

Operational Efficiency 

With a rack safety program, workers feel safe moving around the warehouse, leading to more efficient processing times and less downtime. A well-implemented program will help manage rack damage proactively before it worsens or causes a collapse, thus lowering maintenance costs, inventory loss costs, and the costs of operational injuries. In addition, a rack safety program will help eliminate or reduce downtime caused by damaged racks, as they can no longer be used for storage until they are replaced or repaired. 


Following a rack safety program demonstrates that a company meets national and local regulatory regulations, including OSHA, ANSI, and RMI standards, helping to avoid fines and penalties. It shows that they are always prepared for a compliance audit and committed to ensuring their workers’ safety and the longevity of their warehouse infrastructure.

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In-house Knowledge vs. Third-party Rack Safety Expertise 

While it’s possible to try tackling the project alone, doing so can be challenging, and success may be less likely. It’s difficult to handle everything alone, so seeking assistance from a third party can simplify and speed up the process while providing access to expertise that may not be available in-house. The most effective approach for developing a comprehensive and effective warehouse rack safety program is to combine internal knowledge with third-party expertise. 

Using in-house and third-party expertise together, a company can enjoy the peace of mind of knowing that they’re establishing a rack safety program that incorporates best practices. As a result, the chances of accidents will be lower, and employee morale and productivity will improve. 

In-house Knowledge  

Internal knowledge refers to the expertise and experience of employees that play a role in ensuring safety. Although they are not necessarily specialized experts, they should gain as much knowledge as possible in every part of the wheel to recognize potential hazards, know the proper course of action in case of an incident, and monitor improvements. They can track key performance indicators, assess the current safety measures in place, provide valuable feedback on improving the existing program, and help promote the importance of the program to other employees. Safety is enhanced when a company capitalizes on its employees’ know-how. 

Third-party Expertise 

On the other hand, independent expertise encompasses the knowledge and experience of seasoned experts specializing in warehouse rack safety. Despite having substantial in-house knowledge, it is crucial to seek third-party professional expertise to ensure an impartial and standardized assessment of a company-wide rack safety implementation. 

Third-party experts can independently assess a company’s current rack safety measures, identify areas for improvement, and provide recommendations on best practices, reducing the risk of injuries in the warehouse.  

In the United States and Canada, there are well-defined rack safety standards for safely using pallet racks in warehouses, but sorting through them can be challenging. A third-party expert can help ensure that a company’s rack safety program complies with regulations, protecting them from liability and fines. Often, having full-time in-house expertise is not a cost-effective solution. An on-demand approach allows access to professional engineering and other specialized services and is a more practical solution. 


The frequency of racking inspections depends on a company’s operations velocity, the size of its warehouse, and the rate at which damage accumulates. Generally, most governing bodies recommend monthly assessments by warehouse personnel and independent yearly inspections or audit by third-party rack experts or engineers. Inspections play a crucial role in ensuring the safety of employees, compliance with regulations, protection of inventory, cost savings, and improved efficiency in warehouse operations. 


Regular self-assessments are essential to warehouse rack safety. Pallet racks should regularly be checked for signs of damage or weakness to ensure they are in good condition and safe to use. Conducting regular self-assessments ensures that employees are offered a safe work environment. 

Independent Inspection 

However, self-assessments are insufficient to guarantee a warehouse rack’s safety and reliability. Independent pallet rack inspections conducted by professionals are essential. They can extensively evaluate the racking systems and give an overview of their condition, guaranteeing that all potential hazards that may not have been noticeable are identified.  

Best practice suggests using rack engineers to perform annual rack audits as they have specialized knowledge of how pallet rack damage can accumulate, utilize proven and standardized methodologies, and have considerable experience in rack safety. Following North American rack design specifications, they can perform load capacity calculations and certifications critical to a warehouse’s safe operation. Professional audits are minimally disruptive and should not impact daily operations.  

When to consult with a third-party pallet racking expert: 

  • New Rack Installation. 
  • Corporate Safety Initiative led by HSE. 
  • Routine Re-Assessment. 
  • Regulatory Compliance Review. 
  • Repair or Replacement. 
  • Reconfiguration & Relocation Review. 
  • Collapse or Earthquake. 
  • Regulatory Audit. 
  • Pre-Purchase / Change of Tenant. 
  • Performance Benchmarking. 
  • Operations & Safety Optimization. 
  • Incomplete Documentation. 
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Insights are essential because they help companies make informed decisions on the best course of action to ensure the safety and reliability of warehouse racks. With the right insights, it’s possible to prioritize repairs based on issue priority levels, plan budgets and maintenance schedules, monitor progress and implement long-term strategies to prevent future issues. 

To effectively use information from rack inspections, insights are necessary to help understand the issues and find the best action. Engineering reports provide insights into the technical aspects of the inspection, including data on which components are most affected, recommendations for repairs, and the priority levels for corrective actions.  

Tracking and planning tools or software can be used to transform insights into coordinated actions. These tools also allow them to track progress and monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) by providing detailed reports and timely status updates. 

Engineering Report 

After each thorough inspection, rack experts write a detailed report based on their rigorous field observations, outlining their inspection procedures, findings, and recommendations for improving the safety and reliability of warehouse racks. An ideal report contains the scope, key observations, identified issues, photos, and a proposed repair plan to address issues if requested. It also typically includes a priority rating for each identified issue. 

As a best practice, it’s recommended to have the report stamped by a trained engineer. Using the services of experienced engineers assures the report’s reliability and compliance with industry standards, which can be critical in ensuring the racks’ performance and preventing potential hazards. It also helps to demonstrate due diligence and can be required by some regulations or certification bodies. Detailed reporting and prioritization of issues allow them to take corrective actions to address safety risks and return racking to conformity.  

Tracking and Planning 

It’s crucial to have the right team in place and the necessary tools to monitor progress regarding rack safety. Having the right individuals with the expertise to effectively analyze the data and make informed decisions will ensure the success of the rack safety program. It includes tracking key performance indicators and developing a plan to address any issues highlighted in the reports. 

Rack inspection and maintenance software can be vital in maintaining efficiency and safety in warehouse operations. Inspection reports can be accessed online to help with maintenance management, tracking progress, planning repairs, and making informed decisions. The software should capture and document racking issues in detail, remotely monitor data on the state of racking systems and manage data from multiple locations, making the inspection information centralized and easily accessible.  


Maintaining the safety and reliability of warehouse racks is critical to ensuring the smooth operation of a business. However, identifying issues through inspections is only the first step. All the data in the world won’t help increase warehouse safety if companies don’t act and address the issues that have been reported. That’s where maintenance comes in. 

Rack experts offer a wealth of solutions to address the issues found during rack inspections. They can provide practical recommendations and solutions to help maintain the integrity of warehouse racks. It may involve replacing damaged or missing components, but there are also efficient solutions to repair damage and save on maintenance costs. Addressing issues as they arise can minimize the risk of accidents and damage, reduce maintenance costs, and extend the life of racks. 

Component Replacement 

Sheared upright legs, deflected beams, and dented braces are likely no strangers to warehouse operators. These are just a few examples of damaged rack components, and the reasons can vary, for example, a forklift impact or a lack of proper safety training. When faced with any of these damages, replacing the part with a new identical OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) component could be a good strategy. It is especially true if surplus assets are on hand for quick replacement and minimal downtime. 

Damage Repair 

If someone is unfamiliar with rack repair, they may be surprised to learn that damaged upright columns and braces on warehouse racks can often be repaired rather than replaced. Column repair typically involves using specialized equipment to remove the damaged section and installing a rack repair kit, restoring them to their original load capacity and stability.  

In addition, length-adjustable rack braces can be used for fixing missing or bent horizontal or diagonal braces on warehouse racks. These braces can be adjusted to fit a range of rack configurations and can often be installed without needing power tools or welding.  

Repairing a damaged rack with a column repair kit or a brace repair product can help restore its load capacity to its original specifications and ensure safe operation. This approach offers several benefits, such as cost savings, reduced shipping delays, minimal disruption to warehouse operations as they usually require no unloading, reduction in steel waste, and extended lifespan of the rack system. Rack repair protects the rack’s structural integrity from future damage. 

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Preventing damage to warehouse racks is critical to maintaining the safety and reliability of operations. Rather than waiting for issues to arise, it’s far more effective to take proactive steps to protect assets and train the workforce to follow guidelines, recognize hazards, and take appropriate measures to address them. Prevention efforts can minimize the risk of incidents, reduce maintenance costs, and extend the lifespan of racks. The following section will provide insights and best practices for preventing rack damage in a warehouse. 

Protection Solutions 

Rack protection solutions, such as upright guards, end-of-aisles protectors, and warehouse protection solutions for walkways, infrastructure, equipment, and building columns, are essential to any rack safety program. These solutions offer a simple and cost-effective way to safeguard warehouse investment and protect employees by reducing the risk of damage from forklifts and minimizing the need for replacement or repair. Installing these solutions right after the racking system’s installation can mitigate damage, eliminate downtime, and reduce maintenance costs.  

A rack expert can determine a plan to protect critical areas or those prone to damage with the most appropriate protection products based on their expertise and knowledge of industry best practices. With their guidance, a company’s warehouse is equipped with the best protection solutions to prevent damage to their racks and improve the safety of their operations. 

Safety Education 

A proper rack safety training program is vital for maintaining workers’ well-being and warehouse safety. Despite their expertise and experience, employees can only do so much without the proper training. It is essential to educate them on the warehouse’s proper rack safety protocols and procedures. 

Our team of experts can come to a facility and provide employees with an instructor-led session followed by a practical workshop. And for those who prefer a more flexible option, the pallet rack safety training can also be offered online. This training will cover the fundamentals of pallet racking, the risks, and the regulations involved. Through this training, employees will learn the proper methods for assessing the condition of the pallet racks, identifying and prioritizing damage, and addressing issues with the appropriate actions.  

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Challenges of implementing a rack safety program

Successfully implementing a company-wide safety program can be complex and challenging. Despite the benefits, companies may face various hurdles. It is essential to work with a safety partner to recognize and address these challenges before they slow down the flywheel (i.e., the company’s progress). Significant challenges may include:

Lack of awareness and training
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Employees may resist changes to their daily routines or established procedures, be unaware of the potential hazards, or need adequate training.

Lack of resources
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Safety programs can be expensive and time-demanding, requiring significant investments in in-house training, equipment, and personnel.

Inadequate buy-in from management
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Safety programs require commitment from all levels of the organization to be effective.

Difficulty in measuring success
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It can be challenging to quantify a safety program’s impact and determine what metrics to use and how to track progress effectively over time.

Momentum and communication
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Safety programs can lose momentum over time, and require a consistent effort to keep them effective through communication across departments and levels of the organization.

Keeping up with regulations
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Staying compliant with government regulations and industry standards can be challenging, especially in industries with rapidly changing regulations. Failing to comply can result in fines and other penalties.

How Experts Can Help Implement a

Rack Safety Program

Establishing and maintaining a comprehensive and effective warehouse rack safety program can be challenging. Several factors can contribute to this, including assessing potential hazards, implementing safety measures, and continuously monitoring and updating the program to ensure its effectiveness.

Consider partnering with an experienced warehouse safety expert to help overcome these challenges. They can:

  • Offer engineering expertise and rack safety experience.
  • Identify potential hazards that may have been overlooked. 
  • Assess a company’s specific needs. 
  • Offer a new perspective and optimize safety in the warehouse. 
  • Guide warehouse operators and workers on industry best practices.  
  • Ensure standards and regulations compliance. 
  • Create a customized strategic rack safety program.  
  • Give support to keep the program effective and updated. 
  • Propose specific solutions to address common issues. 
  • Provide engineered products, safety training, and maintenance software. 


Implementing a rack safety program can be challenging even for the most committed warehouse operators. Meet DAMO CARE — a subscription-based solution designed from the ground up to simplify initiating and managing a robust company-wide rack safety program.