A guide to pallet racking inspections
When you have a warehouse, you need to ensure everything in it complies with the relevant health and safety legislation. This doesn’t just apply to vehicles like forklifts or other equipment used by employees such as ladders and trolleys, but also to the pallet racking itself.
As this kind of storage solution is designed to hold large, heavy items, it’s important to ensure it is always in top condition. Should this type of shelving collapse when it is fully laden, it will cause serious damage and could even injure or kill someone.
Aside from making sure you install it properly initially – such as by getting a pallet racking retailer like BiGDUG to send specialists to do this for you – you need to carry out regular inspections to check that the structure is still in good working order. Here’s a bit more information about what a pallet racking inspection involves.
The basics of pallet racking inspections
Under UK health and safety legislation, it is mandatory to have a full inspection of your warehouse storage at least once a year. The Storage Equipment Manufacturers’ Association (SEMA) also recommends that pallet racking is inspected on a regular basis.
There is more than one kind of pallet racking inspection you should be doing, though. While a full assessment by someone deemed a competent person ought to be conducted annually, your staff should also be carrying out regular visual inspections of the storage system.
Who can inspect pallet racking systems?
As mentioned above, you need to engage a competent person to conduct a full inspection of your system once a year. This should be someone who is well-versed in warehouse storage and all the relevant health and safety legislation.
For peace of mind that your facility is being checked properly, you should engage a SEMA-approved inspector. These professionals have received special training to ensure they do not miss any potential defects in a pallet racking or other warehouse storage system.
The more frequent visual inspections can be conducted by a suitably-qualified member of your own staff.
Visual inspections: what should you look for?
When carrying out a visual check of the racking system, you should be looking for any signs of damage. This could be everything from a small dent to significant bends in the shelves or uprights.
Obviously, any indication that the structure of the racking has been compromised should be dealt with immediately. Take steps such as removing any goods stored on the racks and make sure the surrounding area is cleared.
If it is just a minor issue, be certain that it is logged and checked regularly to ensure the integrity of the structure. You should also encourage staff to report any incidents on the warehouse floor – such as a forklift knocking into the racking – because this will mean any potential problems can be identified and dealt with.
What does an annual inspection entail?
The annual inspection carried out by a third party is much more thorough than the regular visual assessments your staff will do. As well as looking at the racking system in detail, they will often use specialised equipment – such as infra red technology – to fully examine the structure and ensure there are no faults that can’t be seen by the naked eye.
You’ll always receive a written copy of the findings, including a list of recommended actions should there be any sections of your pallet racking that require attention.
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