When it comes to warehouse safety, no detail should be overlooked. Proper warehouse racking safety isn’t just about meeting regulations. It’s about ensuring a secure and productive work environment for everyone involved, that is what we are all about at SEE Racking Inspections. We are passionate about empowering warehouse managers and staff with the knowledge and skills they need to navigate warehouse operations safely and efficiently.
The Importance of Warehouse Racking Safety
Warehouse racking systems form the backbone of the logistics industry. These steel giants, such as warehouse pallet racking, rise high to accommodate an ever-increasing demand for goods. As a result, they’re often laden with weight and bustling with activity – a recipe for disaster if not carefully monitored and maintained. In fact, the HSE reported that in 2021/22, there were 16 fatal industries in the transport and storage sector, alongside a whopping 31,000 non-fatal injuries.
Accidents involving warehouse racking can be catastrophic, leading not only to potential injuries but also significant financial losses due to damaged stock and operational downtime. Consider the worst-case scenario, in which a member of staff is fatally injured in the warehouse, and the incident also included massive stock losses and equipment damage (for example, a forklift driver knocks over racking). This type of accident will cause tens of thousands of pounds of losses to the organisation, in addition to the irreplaceable loss of life – which will inevitably also have an immeasurable impact on general productivity and reputation.
If the warehouse management or safety is found to be responsible for the accident (due to lack of training or insufficient safety procedures and maintenance, for example), then there will also be hefty regulatory fines and possibly legal bills to contend with.
The good news? Most of these accidents are preventable with the proper safety guidelines in place and regular warehouse racking inspections. Understanding the potential risks is the first step towards creating a safer warehouse environment.
Common Risks Associated with Warehouse Racking Systems
Warehouse racking systems come with their own unique set of hazards. Knowing what these are can help you establish more robust safety procedures:
- Improper Load Distribution: An unevenly distributed load can destabilise the racking system, leading to a potential collapse.
- Exceeding Load Capacity: Overloading racking beyond its designed capacity puts undue stress on the structure, significantly increasing the risk of failure.
- Damage from Handling Equipment: Forklifts and other heavy machinery can cause structural damage to the racking during loading and unloading.
- Inadequate Training: Without proper training, employees may not understand the safe operation of equipment or how to properly load and unload items, resulting in unnecessary risk.
At SEE Racking Inspections, we’re committed to helping you mitigate these risks with our team of SEMA approved racking inspectors who can provide professional, knowledgeable advice and thorough racking inspections. We’re experts in the field, and we want to help you ensure your warehouse is as safe as it can be.
Safety Guidelines for Warehouse Racking Systems
Ensuring warehouse safety isn’t a one-time affair – it is an ongoing commitment that involves continuous assessment, training, and adherence to safety protocols. Here are a few key safety guidelines:
Schedule frequent warehouse racking inspections. On page 115 of the HSE document called HSG76, it is stated as follows ‘A technically competent person should carry out inspections at intervals of not more than 12 months.’
The team of SEMA approved racking inspectors at SEE Racking Inspections provide a comprehensive racking inspection service to help you identify potential risks and implement effective preventive measures.
View the HSG76 document on this link: https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/priced/hsg76.pdf
Make sure all warehouse staff receive thorough training on warehouse safety guidelines, including the safe use of equipment and best practices for loading and unloading racking systems.
SEE Ltd provide one day training courses which can be held at your companies premises for your warehouse team. Alternatively, you can visit one of our training centres or attend a rack safety awareness course online.
Find more information on our training courses by clicking this link: https://seerackinginspections.co.uk/racking-inspection-courses/
Ensure all racking systems are clearly marked with their maximum load capacity. This information should be prominently displayed and easy for all staff to understand. Find more information on this link: https://seerackinginspections.co.uk/load-signs/
Correct Use of Equipment
Ensure that all warehouse machinery and equipment are used correctly, adhering to safety procedures at all times.
Regularly maintain your racking systems and replace damaged components as soon as they are identified.
Consider implementing additional safety equipment, such as anti-collapse mesh screens or upright protectors, to further enhance safety.
Let SEE Racking Inspections Help You
At SEE Racking Inspections, we know that every warehouse is unique, with its own set of challenges and risks. That is why we offer bespoke safety solutions tailored to your specific needs. Our team of SEMA approved racking inspectors can carry out a comprehensive warehouse racking inspection, provide safety training, and offer knowledgeable advice to help ensure you’re meeting all necessary safety guidelines.
We also understand that taking action on warehouse safety isn’t just about compliance; it’s about creating a work environment that values the well-being of its workers. It’s about showing your employees, stakeholders, and customers that you’re committed to operating responsibly and safely.
Remember, the costs of not investing in warehouse safety can be far greater than the costs of implementing a robust safety program – so don’t wait for an accident to happen: get ahead of the curve and make safety a priority today.
To find out how we can help you create a safer warehouse environment, fill in the form on our website to request a quotation for warehouse racking inspections. We look forward to working with you and contributing to a safer future for the logistics industry!