Prevention goes further than knowing the causes of pallet racking damage, the following tips will help to avoid racking damage in the warehouse.
1. Train, follow up and then train more: with the primary cause of pallet racking damage coming from forklift trucks, it is no surprise that driver training makes a huge difference. Ensuring your drivers are well trained is an ongoing process, however, when compared to the costs associated with racking failure, it really does pay dividends.
2. Spring clean, all year round: Clutter can contribute significantly to racking damage as it limits the manouverability of forklifts in a space that is already confined. Keep your operation clean and an operator will not have to swerve to miss an obstruction, preventing the chance of hitting a rack.
3. Widen your aisles: understandably many companies want to maximise their floor utilisation, but when aisles become too narrow it becomes incredibly counterproductive. Implementing specialist narrow aisle machinery may also help, however in all cases refer to your manufacturers documentation for recommended aisle widths.
4. Let there be light: racking aisles are inherently darker than open floor space, implement good lighting to help your operator’s vision, state of mind and to keep them aware of potential obstructions.
5. Watch the corners: when emerging from and entering the aisle, forklift drivers often “turn into” the racking. This often causes damage to the horizontal & diagonal braces, preventing this can be achieved by installing protective systems such as guard corners.
6. Regular inspections: whilst this is not damage prevention, it can alert you of a problem before it is too late.
7. Anonymous accident reports: forklift drivers are often hesitant to inform management of a collision because they fear punishment. By creating an anonymous drop box you can be assured that any damage will be reported, preventing any damage from deteriorating.
8. Paint your forks: paint each drivers forks a different colour making it possible to match damage with an operator, consequently, operators should take more care with their driving whilst being able to benefit from greater fork visibility.
9. Help the drivers with awareness: consider backup alarms, rear view mirrors, rack mounted safety mirrors or any other device that helps aid the visibility and awareness of your operators.
10. Make certain that your pallet racking is the correct capacity: a mismatch of capacity often happens when new SKU’s are added to the operation. If you are storing a new or substantially different product, always check your racking’s rated capacities.