In warehouses, broken, old or unsuitable racking systems can interfere with workflow and affect organisation; in addition, they can be a significant health and safety risk.

Hidden dangers can lurk unnoticed, so it is vital to attend to racking that is in need of replacing.

UK law calls for an annual external examination of your pallet racking, but don’t ignore your own inspection and maintenance; otherwise, repair costs will be higher, and your inventory and employees will be at risk.

1. Racking maintenance

Constant repairs are a red light to consider more long-term solutions. Although you may rate your DIY skills or have a maintenance person on the staff, such repairs are not practical or acceptable. Overloading, wear and tear or worse issues endanger your employees, while your racking and stock are liable to collapse.

Another warning flag is that your own repairs may be faulty. Rather than invest time and money in shoddy DIY mends, buy some new racking.

Retailers of industrial shelving in Ireland such as can advise on safety, while the Storage Equipment Manufacturers Association sets out codes of practice.

2. Beam deflection

Your beams will naturally deflect under a heavy load, but this should disappear when the load is removed. If the beam stays indented after stock removal, it is faulty.

Such beams are at risk of collapse and your employees are in danger from falling stock. Obey weight limits and support loads with a number of arms to prevent warping. If your racking is deflected, either buy a new beam or invest in a strong-enough racking system.

3. Rust and corrosion

Regularly check for rust and corrosion. Flaking paint, corrosion and tarnished beams can indicate that the metal is weakening. Also look out for rust. If the metal is compromised, the frames will not be strong enough to hold the original amount of weight. The mass of your stored items may collapse the affected racking.

Pallet racking replacement is the best solution to this problem, as there is no way to strengthen the racking.

4. Racking protection

Rack protection for warehouses means adding protection against forklift damage, such as column guards, racking barriers and upright protectors. Tubular barriers protect against vehicle damage, create separate store places and limit vehicle entrance, while Dexion corner guards protect the corner uprights.

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