Pallet racking can simple, yet confusing. here are some pointers and explanations of your responsibilities.
In 2012 a new standard for Steel Racking (AS4084:2012) was introduced to cover the design of steel storage racking systems and incorporates several changes to operational requirements
and end-user responsibility.
In this article, I will concentrate on the responsibilities of end-user customers and staff.
All racking manufacturers, retailers, installers and end-users of racking products have a duty of care to comply with AS4084:2012.
If, you have purchased a reputable brand of racking and from a trusted supplier, and is installed to the requirements of AS4084:2012 and the manufacturer’s requirements. Then the only things you need to worry about are training, maintenance and safety.
Forklifts and other handling equipment cause the vast majority of damages to racks.
All staff that work with, on or near racking must be trained in the safe use of pallet racking.
While looking very simple to the casual observer, Racking is capable of being put under a great deal of
stress, and often for long periods.
All staff should be competent to:
- Name components of the racking
- Identify the weight of pallets and goods stored
- Safely load, unload and position pallets
- Understand safe load capacities of beam levels and bays
- Identify risks
- Know how to report incidents and issues with the racking
If staff are competent in all these fields, they will take better care of your investment, and incidents or
damage should be less frequent or severe.
It is recommended that a system of regular inspections for pallet racking installations shall be carried out on a regular basis and at least once every 12 months by a competent person, as a minimum in accordance with AS 4084-2012 (Ref. AS 4084-2012, Section 8.1 General, and Section 8.2-Inspections, pages 99-100.)
Australian Steel Storage Industry Group
SSO Handling & Storage recommend a competent staff member inspect the racking every month or two, often more for busier warehouses, and a minimum of every 12 months by a competent person, fully experienced in the identification and categorisation of racking damage.
End-user inspectors should be looking for:
- Damage to the uprights, beams and anchors.
- ensure the safe working load signs are in place
- ensure the safe working load limits are adhered to
- ensure that the racking has not been altered
- ensure all beam safety clips are installed
- examine for rust or other deformations
- inspect connectors for damage or cracking of welds
“Inspections shall be carried out on a regular basis, and at least once every twelve months…”
Australian Standards AS4084:2012:
Any damage or potential issues found by an end-user inspection must be brought to the attention of a competent inspector for classification. A Competent Inspector can rate and classify the damage or
the issue, let you know the next steps and recommend the correct method to rectify the problem.
It is often many small damages that add up over time to cause a more significant issue or even collapse.
“Any repair works shall be in consultation with the racking supplier or a qualified structural engineer. NOTE: Remedial work usually involves replacement”.
AS4084:2012 Steel Storage Racking