Tips for Minimizing Pallet Rack Damage

worm's eye view of warehouse pallet racking and steel shelving

Pallet rack damage is just part of life in a warehouse, but that doesn’t mean it’s something you should take lightly.

Damaged racks can lead to expensive repairs and replacements, loss of product and employee downtime. Worse still, a damaged rack can create hazardous work conditions.

That’s why we’re going to use this blog post to offer some tips for minimizing pallet rack damage. But first, let’s look at how that damage happens.

How Pallet Racks Get Damaged

There are three key causes of pallet rack damage:

  • Improperly loaded racks, whether that means loads that are distributed unevenly or loads that are too heavy for the racks.
  • Harsh conditions – such as racks kept outdoors, in extremely wet conditions, or in refrigerators or freezers – can lead to damage.
  • Forklifts are the chief contributor to pallet rack damage. A forklift crashing into a rack won’t automatically cause the rack to collapse, that impact hurts the rack’s structural integrity.

So how do we go about minimizing pallet rack damage? It starts with employee education, from making sure forklift drivers get the proper certification, to having all workers in the warehouse receive training on the racking system and how it’s maintained.

Beyond that, minimizing pallet rack damage is a matter of:

  • Picking the right type of rack for your environment, taking into account the factors we mentioned above (cold, wet conditions, etc.).
  • Having the right racking capacity for the products you have in stock. You might want to consider investing in higher capacity racking than you need now if you foresee your needs changing down the road.
  • Allowing forklift drivers and other employees to make anonymous reports of forklift accidents. Drivers may be reluctant to notify you of collisions because they’re worried about punishment.
  • Focusing on aisle clearance and visibility to improve forklift safety. Aisles that are too crowded or narrow make it easier for accidents to happen. Improved visibility means making sure forklift drivers have enough lighting, mirrors and back alarms to help driver awareness.
  • Investing in rack protection products, including bollards, post protectors and end-of-aisle guards. This might cost more than you were planning to spend in the short term but can save you money in the long-term by preventing damage.
  • Replacing or repairing damaged pallet rack components right away to prevent serious accidents.
  • Conducting routine rack inspections, from frequent visual checks by you and your team to annual inspections by third-party professionals.

Is it time to replace your pallet racks? Greystone Equipment Company can help. Whether it’s pallet racks, cantilever racks, bull racks or stacking racks, we have something for every application.

Contact us today to find a solution that works best for your warehouse.