In an active warehouse environment, pallet rack damage occurs and you will be faced with the decision to replace or repair your pallet racking system or parts of it. With consistent safety protocols in place, you will prevent or minimize damage to your racks. With a frequent in-house inspection either by a professional inspector or someone in your organization, you will be able to find signs of damage early to prevent any problems.
Here is what to look for during the inspections:
Are the pallet racks straight and plumb?
Rack Manufactures Institute (RMI) says that “a pallet rack column that is leaning (out-of-plumb) or bowed (out-of-straight) beyond a certain point will have a significantly reduced capacity, making it unsafe and at risk of collapse. RMI defines the severity of these two conditions as follows:
– Out-of-Plumb Ratio – Maximum horizontal distance (inches or millimeters) from the centerline of the column at the floor to a plumb line that extends downward from the centerline of the column at the top shelf elevation divided by the vertical distance (feet or meters) from the floor to the top shelf elevation.
– Out-of-Straight Ratio – Maximum horizontal distance (inches or millimeters) from the centerline at any point on the column to a plumb line from any other point on the column divided by the vertical distance (feet or meters) between the two points.
The higher the ratio, the more likely a rack is to fail. Recognizing this, MHI’s ANSI MH16.1-2012: Specification for the Design, Testing and Utilization of Industrial Steel Storage Racks section 1.4.11 limits the ratio for both out-of-plumb (leaning) and out-of-straight (bowing) loaded rack columns to 1/240. This equates to 0.05-inch per 1 foot of height (1.25 millimeters per 0.3-meter), or 0.5-inch per 10 feet (12.5 millimeters per 3 meters) of height”.
Overloaded racks can be tough to determine. A sign that your pallet racking system is overloaded is if your beams show a large amount of deflection. If the deflection does not disappear when you unload the beams, then you should perform a professional inspection immediately.
Beams damaged or insecure?
Inspect for scrapes, dings and dents which can indicate forklift damage. Inspect the connections a to make sure the beams are seated properly. Ensure that are beams still correctly attached with the correct hardware. Look for damaged or missing clips, safety pins or bolts and tighten any loose ones.
Uprights or bracing bent or damaged?
Bent bracing can indicate overloading. Search for paint scrapes which can indicate impact by a forklift. Inspect baseplates to make sure they are securely anchored to the floor. Inspect the horizontal braces for bending or twisting.
Moist environmental can cause rust which can weaken the metal. Rust or corrosion can also be an indication that paint was scraped off by forklift impact.
To insecure safety, you should inspect your pallet rack annually, but more often is best.
Versatile Industrial Maintenance Inc. was established in 2006 in Lawrenceville, GA and draws on over 40 years of manufacturing and facility maintenance experience with a high emphasis on regulatory and safety. VIM specializes in warehouse rack repairs. Contact us for a free consultation via email or call 404-516-0611