How To Use Warehouse Racking Safely

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As your racking and mezzanine floor experts, we’re always here to offer advice and information on how to not only get the best out of your warehouse equipment but, more importantly, how to use it safely.

Love it or hate it, any efficient warehousing system needs racking. It’s essential. It makes the best of your space while allowing you to store items in a convenient and accessible manner.

But, did you know the top hazards of working in any warehouse are those that you can easily relate to your racking?

The top risks include slips and trips, manual handling, working at height, vehicles in and around the warehouse and moving or falling objects.

Now, you’re probably already aware of the above risks and some of Aphex’s tips maybe seem obvious but it’s worth reiterating them to yourself and your colleagues to ensure that you all work in a more harm-free environment.

We’ve devised our top tips on how to keep safe while using your racking:

  1. Keep the warehouse floor clean and tidy
    1. Within warehouses it’s not uncommon to have water, oil, cleaning products, powders and other items around. You may have plastic bags, stretch wrapping or label backing from things that are to be stored or distributed. However, when you come across any of these items on the floor of your warehouse, be it wet or dry, clean or pick it up. Not only is it good general housekeeping but it also ensures you, or one of your colleagues, don’t slip or trip while working close to the racking. We don’t need to scare you with the dangers of what could happen should someone fall or slip into the large metal beams that are storing generally heavy gear but it’s worth keeping in the back of your mind that keeping the area clean and tidy could save someone’s life.
    2. As with most warehouses, you are advised (or sometimes forced) to wear steel-toe cap boots. Not only will these protect you from stubbing you toe on a heavy, unmoveable object (you felt that didn’t you?!) but a good pair will also have non-slip soles so you can walk rather than slide around a smooth warehouse floor however these cannot guarantee you won’t slip on spillage so clean it up as soon as possible.
  2. Careful With Your Driving!
    1. If you drive a forklift truck, always ensure you only go down the aisles that are clearly marked for trucks to go down. Apart from running someone over, if the racking aisle isn’t wide enough, you have the embarrassment of getting stuck.
    2. Always be careful to not go into the racking. Like any other driving, accidents happen but the degree of injury that could come from a forklift truck going into a racking beam could be fatal – and not immediately. Once a racking system is struck, it can easily create a ‘weak spot’. This weak spot could bring down the whole of the system in the blink of an eye, creating a lot of health and safety issues.
    3. While we offer racking repair, whenever we sell a complete racking system we strongly advise any warehouse that has access to a forklift truck to invest in some rack guards. They aren’t expensive (£25-30 + del each) and can not only ensure your racking systems last longer but can also ensure safety throughout your warehouse.
    4. It's All About The Position...
      1. When you have a job that you do everyday, sometimes you can start to under think your actions and not concentrate on what you are actually doing. However, as you know the risks of not having a pallet stored correctly on a racking frame can be highly dangerous. Aphex supply timber decking with most of our racking range. These give more margin for error when positioning your pallet between the two pairs of beams. Should the pallet be positioned slightly incorrectly, the timber decking allows suitable time to reposition as required.
      2. Basically, these make your job easier and safer all round. Winner.
    5. A New Solution For Your Old Pallets.
      1. Its not uncommon for things to break in any workplace, let alone a warehouse. However, if you continue to use a broken or highly worn pallet, the danger or the stored items falling through your racking could be dangerous for passers-by. No matter how light an object, the height is the main factor in the damage caused.
      2. Because worn pallets are so common, we often recommend our customers purchase a few pallet support bars. These are essentially, metal strut bars which are rested (loosely, therefore easily adjustable to suit) from the back of your racking to the front which will enable the storage of awkward pallets which maybe broken or flimsy. Having just 2 pallet support bars per old pallet can make all the difference.
    6. Caught In A Net?
      1. It’s very common to have a single run of racking in the middle of your warehouse. However, did you know the dangers of falling stock from the back of the system? This can be easily avoided by purchasing some very basic mesh netting. Not only will this secure the goods but it will also let you breathe easier knowing items won’t fall off and injure a colleague on the other side when you are loading up.
      2. If you need some advise on what mesh to use, please contact Aphex for advice.

We hope these tips help you and your colleagues work in a safer, more efficient environment.

Feel free to contact us regarding any queries by clicking here.