In managing the warehouse space efficiently and maximizing storage, warehouse managers use racking as an ideal method. As a foundational infrastructure component, warehouse racking facilitates seamless operation and optimizes warehouse organization. This allows the resources to be managed effectively and the warehouse to remain organized. While this is the bright side of it, there are challenges. Many managers do not know the best warehouse racking tips that could help them even do racking better. Besides, every year, there are cases of warehouse racking safety incidents that leave people hurt and sometimes dead. In such incidents, the companies also suffer financial and reputational loss depending on the degree of the incident. This article looks at the best warehouse racking tips, common safety issues related to warehouse racking, and how to go about warehouse safety concerns.
Best warehouse racking tips
While there are many tips and guidelines on warehouse racking, some are more effective than others. In fact, they work to realize better results than the rest. All the same, different tips may work better for different industrial processed and the products being handled. Below are some of the best warehouse racking tips that have worked for most industrial processes;
i. Implement a strong warehouse racking system
Before indulging in the nitty-gritty of warehouse racking, you must understand that how well your racking system will work greatly depends on how stable the system is. The system should be sturdy enough to accommodate the weight of the products that will be subjected to it. According to Tips for Warehouse Transportation Safety, ShelfSpace, the best way to combat the threat of tired shelves not being able to handle the sheer weight, use bottom shelves more often.
ii. Improve accessibility and the safety of workers by using modular edge racking;
Many warehouse managers in Thailand have found modular edge racking, a variant of pallet racking, to be an effective and efficient strategy for improving warehouse accessibility and worker safety. To enhance such a system, you can use frame protectors, steel mesh racks, deck panels, anti-collapse systems, and extra supports.
iii. Bear in mind the load
One of the best practices to observe while choosing the right warehouse racking to use for an industrial process involves considering the load that will be placed on the rack. There are three classes of racking systems, and the choice you make depends on the load. Select Light-duty racking for loads not exceeding 660 pounds, Medium-duty pallet racking for load weighing 660 to 1,320 pounds, or Heavy-duty pallet if your load capacity exceeds 1,320 pounds.
iv. Use moveable racking systems to value and save unused space
If you want a pallet racking system that will be handy in valuing unused space, you surely would appreciate the moveable racking systems. Whether you use a forklift or crane to move goods, moveable racking systems will be helpful. Besides, these racking systems have no limitation regarding the size or the bulk of the warehouse goods.
v. Consider application-specific requirements as you choose your pallet racking system;
According to @FoodSafetyMag, the best advice warehouse managers that handle dry good storerooms can apply is to rotate, rotate, and rotate. Foodstuffs can definitely come out of the container worse than they got in but can never come out better. To manage this, rotation is required whereby the goods that first came in should be the first to go out (FIFO). Your racking systems must accommodate this. Be specific with your needs as you choose the racking system.
Common warehouse racking and how to handle them
Having known the best tips and practices for warehouse racking systems, it’s time to familiarize yourself with the safety concerns related to warehouse racking. Below are the five typical causative agents of safety incidents in warehouse racking systems and how to go about them;
a) Forklift collision damage
Pallet racking systems are meant to handle heavy and bulky loads, and this poses a safety risk. In many cases, forklifts have been reported to have collided and caused major damages, and claimed lives in some cases. According to the OSHA Weekly Catastrophe Report, every end month has an average of two warehouse workers crushed by the heavy forklift machinery across the world (Thailand included). To counter this, employees need to remain vigilant in the warehouse and be on the watch out for this powerful machine. Besides, frame end guards, rack bollards, and drive-in-floor channels can be used to cut down the damage should a forklift collision occur.
b) Improper use
Another major cause of safety incidents in warehouse racking systems incidents is the improper use of warehouse racking systems. Often, the workers do not know how to use the warehouse racking components, leading to a series of safety issues. They either use the wrong equipment or overload the system or improperly use them. To avoid safety incidents related to improper use, the company needs to train all the workers handling the manual equipment on the proper equipment usage and the right weights to put on them.
c) Overhanging products
Many safety incidents in the warehouse also occur due to overhanging products. These especially happen when the overhanging pallets are placed on racking systems designed to accommodate pallets without handing products. Additionally, when the overhanging products surpass the shelves, the products pose an occupational hazard. In counteracting this hazard, the manufacturer should consider the overhang products and design the shelves and racks with accommodative width and depths.
d) Damaged beams
Beams are an essential component of the warehouse racking system and can be an occupational hazard. This happens mostly when they are damaged due to heavy weight, which causes them to collide. In avoiding problems due to damaged beams, do a regular inspection of the beam to ensure that they are not deflected. As the start deflecting, it’s an indicator of an occupational hazard.
e) Racks that are incorrectly installed
OSHA reports many hazards in the occupational context due to incorrect installation of racks. In such cases, anyone working in the warehouse is endangered as the entire system can topple and claim lives besides damaging items. The problem is easily avoided by having racking specialists install the racking systems.
Racking systems are a very critical element of warehouse processes in Thailand and beyond. To use the systems well, the management and the workers must know the best practices (tips) and the safety hazards related to racking systems. This article has shed light in this regard. It also has enlightened people on how to go about the occupational hazards related to industrial racking systems.