Stacking Pallets Safely in a Warehouse

Posted On: June 3, 2015 in Workplace Safety

The desire to improve space utilization in warehouse environments has resulted in a variety of space-saving solutions. Advanced pallet and racking systems, including selective pallet, drive-in, and push-back racking systems can dramatically increase storage capacity within a facility. However, failure to follow proper racking and stacking practices can create dangerous conditions for warehouse personnel and risk expensive property damage.

Operator Faults               

Improper equipment operation, handler error, and collisions with pallet stacks and racks are common causes of operator induced incidents. It is hard to remove the human factor from the process, but implementing proper work systems, including adequate employee training and supervision, can raise awareness of risks and improve safety. Safety equipment such as bollards, guardrails and wire partitions can help prevent operator faults by restricting lift truck movement and increasing hazard visibility.

Inadequate Racking Systems

Racks need to be matched with the specific storage requirements. The span of the racks must be able to handle anticipated loads and should be designed with an additional safety factor to accommodate impact loads and abuse. Racking columns, spans and flooring need to be compatible with the pallet type, and operators need to be familiar with proper rack loading and unloading sequences.

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Damaged and/or Inadequate Pallets

Pallets need to be strong enough to support the load. When considering pallet requirements, don’t forget to include not only the weight of the pallet load, but also the weight of additional pallet loads, if the pallets are to be stacked.

Pallets are prone to damage. Make sure you regularly inspect your pallets and remove any damaged or worn pallets from service.

Material Handling Equipment Faults

Equipment faults are typically the least likely source of materials handling accidents. But, because of the catastrophic consequence of equipment failure, this item should receive proper attention. Regular inspection of material handling equipment, including checks for tire wear and component damage, can help prevent handling equipment failures. Also, ensure your handling equipment is properly suited for the task. Do not overload the equipment and make sure you’re not overstressing your machines.

The above tips offer some guidance on improving your pallet handling processes. McKinley Equipment offers a variety of material handling equipment, safety and racking solutions designed to improve material flows while keeping workers safe. Contact McKinley today to learn how this equipment can improve your operations.