Pallet racks are useful mechanisms that many businesses rely on to help them meet their storage needs. Built to sustain incredible amounts of weight, high-performing, and versatile, pallet racks are at the center of many business operations. However, if used improperly, pallet racks can also impose some serious safety risks. It’s essential to understand the basics behind pallet rack load capacity and safety protocol in order to avoid dangerous accidents and maintain your safety, as well as the safety of your employees. Here are some guidelines to help you understand pallet rack capacities:

Pallet Rack Load Capacity: Avoid Overloading!

It should go without saying that overloading your pallet racks can lead to serious safety risks, yet it happens more times than one would think. It’s important to regularly monitor your storage area for signs of accidental overloading. One of the main signs of overloading to look for is beam deflection, which is when the beam begins to bend from the weight of its load. The maximum safe beam deflection of your pallet racks can be calculated by dividing the length of the beam by 180 inches. Make sure to carefully monitor the deflection gap during your inspections.

Keep the Load Centered

When loading your pallet rack, it’s important to keep the load centered on the racking system. Improperly placing the load on your pallet rack can put excess weight on one side of your pallet rack. This may result in damage to your pallet rack, as well as potential safety hazards for you and your workers.

Use Proper Anchoring

Using anchoring mechanisms is an important way to keep your pallet rack installations safe for you and your workers. Your pallet racks should be securely fastened to the warehouse floor and walls, and you should install protective bollards and guardrails to reinforce the strength of your pallet racks. Precautions like these can help you avoid dangerous safety risks imposed by free-standing pallet racks.

Perform Load Capacity Inspections

Regular inspections can help you catch and correct potential safety risks introduced by your pallet rack installation. Your pallet racks should be inspected on a regular basis by someone with sufficient skills to perform the inspection. Although you can hire a professional, it’s also a good idea to train someone within your company to inspect your pallet racks on a more consistent basis. Here’s what should be included in your pallet rack inspections: 

Rust and Erosion

Rust and erosion are often evidence that your pallet racks are damaged and weaker than they should be. Carefully inspect your pallet racks for signs of missing paint, scratches, or rust, and pay attention to other evidence that your pallet racks may need to be replaced.

Plumbness and Straightness

Next, inspect the plumbness and straightness of your pallet racks. Plumbness refers to how vertically straight the columns of your pallet racks are. Although some lack of verticality in your pallet racks isn’t dangerous, it’s important to make sure that your loaded rack’s plumbness does not exceed Total Rack Height divided by 240 inches.

Understanding Pallet Rack Load Capacity

Each type of pallet rack has a unique load capacity, so it’s important that you and your staff understand the limits of the pallet racks you use in your warehouse. You can get frame capacity charts from your pallet rack manufacturer, and it’s helpful to display them at the end of each aisle in your storage facility so that you and your workers can reference the information often to avoid overloading your pallet racks.

Visible Damage

Most importantly of all, inspect your pallet racks for signs of damage to the columns, beams, and footplates. This could include visible warping, bending, cracking, or twisting. If you notice any of these issues during the inspection, it’s time to replace your pallet racks.

Buy Pallet Racking With Excellent Load Capacity and Durability

Although pallet racks are an extremely effective way to meet your business’s storage needs, they can pose a serious safety risk if not properly installed and maintained. If you’re looking for a professional to help with your pallet rack installation and other needs, contact Pallet Rack World today.

Understanding the safety factors and load restrictions surrounding pallet racks is essential for keeping you, your workers, and your inventory safe–and there’s much more to learn about properly using, maintaining, and making the most out of these useful storage mechanisms. Browse our site for more useful tips about pallet racks, pallet rack installation services, and new and used pallet racks for sale. Got any questions? Contact us online or give us a call at 800-974-9086