Racking is common sight in warehouses. It is one of the most common storage methods in the material handling industry. As a result, it is also one of the leading causes of damage in warehouses. Racking damage can occur from overloading, or forklifts banging into it. That’s why it is imperative measures are put in place to keep your racking protected. In this article we will be giving 9 tips for rack protection.
1. Train Employees
One of the easiest ways to facilitate rack protection is to sufficiently train employees. Most racking damage is a result of forklifts driving into it, racks not being properly loaded or being loaded over capacity. If you employ stringent and regular training to ensure that your employees know how to load and operate around the warehouse safely, you can severely reduce the risk of damaging racking.
2. Tidy up
Excess clutter around the warehouse can have an impact on the likelihood of racking being damaged. Clutter limits the maneuverability of forklift, therefore making them more likely to bump into racking and damage it. Clean up the warehouse regularly for good rack protection.
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3. Wider aisles
Widen warehouse aisles to stop forklifts banging into racking. Widening aisles reduces the efficiency of the space utilised in your warehouse, so it will often result in a trade-off between rack protection and economic use of space.
4. Protect Corners
Corners are one of the problem areas in rack protection. Forklifts need to turn round sharp corners to get to where they are going, often with limited turning room. As a result, it is quite easy for forklifts to damage racking here. Guard railing, or solutions as simple as bollards placed at the corners can help stop this happening.
5. Quality Racking
There are two aspects which contribute to the extent of racking damage. The first is the actual cause of the damage. The second is the quality of racking. Poor quality racking will be damaged easily, and so if you are in the situation where racking is likely to be damaged, it may be best to get some higher quality racking, made from more durable materials. Although this is more expensive in the short term, it stops bigger spendings down the line on racking protection measures or racking repair costs.
6. Ensure Visibility
Warehouses are large, open areas which are hard to fully light up. As a result, forklift drivers often have to operate in moderate to low visibility situations. This is fine for travelling down the aisle, but the low visibility can affect rack protection. To make sure forklift drivers can actually see the racking they must avoid, it is imperative to make sure it is visible. To ensure this you can employ racking lighting or high visibility materials.
7. Rack Protection
As many measures as you could put in to stop racking being damaged, there is always the chance that it will be. It would therefore be wise to put some actual protection on your racking in the event of this happening. Rack protection can be employed to provide a physical barrier and therefore stop racking from being damaged.
8. Forklift Speed Limits
A big cause of forklifts damaging racks is them travelling too fast. Warehousing and manufacturing industries are high pressure environments where efficiency is based on productivity, and therefore speed. As a result, it is only natural that forklift drivers want to go fast to get more work done. To mitigate this, any warehouse should put in place stringent and considerate speed limits. This may reduce productivity somewhat, but massively increased safety and rack protection.
9. Label Rack Capacity
Aside from forklift damage, overloading racks is another popular cause of racking damage. In large warehouses with many different capacity racks, it can be hard to keep track of the exact capacity of all racks. To stop racks being overloaded, they should be labelled. High visibility rack capacity labelling significantly reduces the probability it will be overloaded.
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