Warehouses can be dangerous places.
Last year, New Zealand saw 66 workplace fatalities. That’s 66 lives lost due to accidents, either employees or members of the public who died due to someone’s work activity.
Work-related health deaths are estimated to be somewhere around 800. That’s deaths from work-related illness and diseases, with over 5,000 hospitalisations on top of that.
These come in the form of exposure to hazardous materials or illness caused by acute injury.
Accidents happen, but there’s never any excuse to not do everything you can to prevent them in the first place.
Pallet racking safety should be a top priority for all warehouses.
What to consider before starting
Pallet racking safety starts with planning. There’s no point building something and then wondering how to make it safer. That’s how the Titanic sank.
Here in New Zealand, we have an earthquake problem, so that needs to be taken into account first of all. The Government has very strict compliance laws regarding pallet racking for this very reason.
Secondly, you need to consider what type of product you’ll be moving and storing. The design of the ranking needs to be considered before being built, as different racking is used for different types of products.
Weight, dimensions, and unusual shapes all play a part in storage solutions, so again, planning your racking is the start of racking safety.
Moving and storing
There are two main things to consider when it comes to pallet racking safety: moving products and storing products.
Moving stock usually involves forklifts, and that’s where issues arise.
Until everything in a warehouse is automated, human error is to blame for 99% of accidents, and drivers crashing forklifts are one of the biggest causes of incidents in the workplace.
While not all incidents involve an injury or death, many of these incidents include collisions between forklifts and other vehicles, people or racking, as well as objects falling off forklifts when loading or unloading.
In this video, you can see how one little knock by a forklift caused devastation to an entire warehouse, injuring several people.
Safety measures you can take
The following are all things you can do to help take every precaution when it comes to pallet racking safety.
Pedestrian barriers provide clear segregation between pedestrians and traffic. Easy to install, medium-weight steel barriers are the simplest and most effective way to do so.
Pallet racking protectors
Safety barriers and row protectors help guard racking from accidental impact. Fewer impacts also extend racking lifespan and minimize maintenance.
If a forklift is going to hit something, then make sure it hits one of these! Forklift barriers help to avoid racking collisions and protect your stock and your staff by segregating work zones. Sections can be easily replaced if damaged and self-closing gates are available.
Bollards and stainless-steel bollards
Bollards protect against collision, block vehicle access and increase site safety. Available in powder-coated steel that resists rust and scratches or galvanized finish that protects against corrosion – perfect for outside or wet areas.
Essential for warehouse safety, this system uses wire mesh and brackets on new or existing installations to protect your staff from falling products.
The racking itself
It’s all well and good protecting your racking from forklift impacts, but what if the racking itself is obsolete?
When it comes to pallet racking safety, old, badly assembled or the wrong type of racking is just as dangerous as a forklift collision. Make sure you have the best equipment for the job.
PRS can help with all your pallet racking safety
Three out of four of all accidents happen in just five industries: transport, manufacturing, construction, retail and wholesale, and unsurprisingly, a significant percentage of these accidents happen in warehouses.
Staff and public safety is the number one priority for any company, but it is especially crucial in warehouses.
A business should have pallet racking safety at the top of their list, and with the above measures, the risk of injury can be minimised.
Whether it’s our safety barriers to separate pedestrians and moving machinery, our impact barriers to lessen the blow of a badly driven forklift, or our anti-collapse mesh to hold the stock back in case of the worst happening, we’ve got you covered.
Contact us today if you have any questions about pallet racking safety. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff will be happy to help in any way they can.
Pallet Racking Solutions designs, supplies and installs quality pallet racking and warehouse storage solutions, New Zealand wide. Follow our blog for the latest innovations, new tech, safety and compliance, case studies and in-depth explanations of our solutions.