Pallet racking inspection training is one of the many safety procedures warehouse owners should follow. Working at height safety is another.
When working at height, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and the potential dangers around you. One such danger might be that you ignore racking safety, so it’s important to consider the two safety disciplines together.
In order to do that, though, the definition of terms is vital.
Pallet Racking Safety Is…
Pallet racking safety refers to any kind of procedure designed to make pallet racking — and its use — safer. In the UK, the official safety procedures most relevant to pallet racking come from HSE and SEMA. These safety procedures include pallet racking inspection training, among other things. Pallet racking inspection training and pallet racking inspections in Ireland are not directly recommended by HSA, but there is an informal recommendation.
Work At Height Safety Is…
According to HSE’s HSG76, “work in any place, including above or below ground level, where someone could fall and injure themselves” counts as work at height. In the UK, the Work at Height Regulations 2005 outlines in full an employer’s legal responsibility when asking their staff to work at height. This includes, for example, making sure that people using a mobile elevating work platform (MEWP) are either trained themselves or are supervised by a trained person.
Considering Pallet Racking Safety & Work at Height Safety Together
Pallet racking inspection training covers a whole range of procedures for ensuring pallet racking safety through inspections. However, inevitably, the course cannot cover everything. If it did, then HSE would not also recommend annual racking inspections from an expert (such as a SEMA approved racking inspector).
While you should always bear the whole warehouse in mind when thinking about safety, it’s often difficult to consider pallet racking safety and work at height safety at the same time. There are only a handful of specific situations when the two kinds of safety do need to be considered together, though it’s still important to be prepared for said situations.
It’s because of all of this that we have prepared a cheat sheet for the situations when racking safety and work at height safety should be considered together and what you should do in those situations.
|#||Situation||Racking Safety Considerations||Work At Height Safety Considerations|
|1||Items falling from racking||Items should be stored properly. While this often means not overloading a racking system, it also means making sure that things are stacked properly and are placed securely. To make sure this happens, always follow the manufacturer’s advice and follow the guidelines for storage set out in the Storage systems chapter of HSG76.||The Work at Height Regulations 2005 spells this out as law:
“Every employer shall, where necessary to prevent injury to any person, take suitable and sufficient steps to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, the fall of any material or object.”
This section of the law goes on to explain what employers are legally obliged to do to prevent injury from falling objects.
|2||Climbing on racking which is not designed for climbing||In short, don’t do it.
However, if someone does climb on it (even though they definitely shouldn’t have) the person responsible for racking safety (PRRS) should immediately check for damage.
If there is any visible damage, immediately offload the system and book a SEMA approved racking inspection.
|Once again, don’t do it.|
|3||Climbing on racking which is designed for climbing||Unless it is specifically designed for the purpose of being climbed on, you shouldn’t climb on racking. Even if the racking system is designed to be climbed on, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instruction and don’t add too much weight to the system.
If the system appears damaged after it’s been used, immediately offload the system and book a SEMA approved racking inspection.
|If racking is designed for climbing, follow the same advice for working on a ladder. Keep three points of contact, don’t overstretch, etc.
Even if racking is specifically designed for the express purpose of being climbed on, do not climb from an elevated working platform into a racking system.