Rack Safety Inspections
Keeping your warehouse operating safely and at peak efficiency begins with routine inspection and maintenance. International Building codes (IBC) and occupancy permits increasingly include ANSI/RMI (American National Standards Institute / Rack Manufacturers Institute) standards. Ask yourself, what standards are in place after a warehouse is put in operation or what about retrofitted warehouses?
Rack uprights are bumped and pushed by material handling equipment, beam elevations or pallet loads are readjusted to fit loaded pallets, and components are modified or aisles narrowed to accommodate inventory. All of that happens as a matter of running a warehouse, but what doesn’t always happen is regularly inspecting pallet rack systems. This is why your warehouse begins to look like a battlefield and this is where REB Storage Systems International can help.
ANSI/RMI MH16.1 sets forth standards for identifying, repairing or replacing damaged rack and designates that storage rack system maintenance and repair is the rack system operator’s responsibility. Among these include:
REPAIR & REPLACEMENT OF DAMAGED COMPONENTS: These shall be replaced by qualified persons following recommended and documented procedures. Repair components must be at least as strong as undamaged components.
OWNER MAINTENANCE: The owner shall maintain the structural integrity of the installed rack system assuring proper operational and maintenance procedures. Regularly inspect for damage and immediately unload the affected area and replace or repair the damaged column(s), beam(s), and other structural components.
ADDITIONS, ALTERATIONS & RECONFIGURATIONS: All additions, alterations and reconfigurations should meet the same requirements as the original installation.
RACK DAMAGE: Upon any visible damage, the pertinent portions of the rack should be unloaded immediately by the user until the damaged portion is repaired or replaced.
Notable Rack System Safety Concerns
REB’s professional Life Safety and Repair Inspections focus on two main areas: damage concerns and protection recommendations. Specifically, the degree and type of damage is identified in order to determine whether repair or replacement is needed. Upon inspection completion you’ll be provided with repair and ongoing protection recommendations. At your request, you’ll receive a proposal and a corresponding scope drawing for these services.
Rips, tears or deflection beyond acceptable limits. This deflection is greater than ½” or damage that no longer can carry the original rated load.
Horizontal & Diagonal Strut Damage
Broken welds, missing braces, or braces with rips, tears or deflection beyond acceptable limits. Deflection greater than ½” bent either horizontally or diagonally.
Sheared or twisted past ½”. Resides in earthquake region that require seismic risk modified footplates.
Overloaded Beams or Frames
Using the RMI description, review the manufacturer’s frame capacity charts. Remember that rated loads refer to an evenly distributed load along the length of the rated member.
Missing, broken or loose anchors are problematic because each upright footplate, both the front and back, must be anchored to the floor.
Missing or Damaged Components
Often, various accessories are missing or damaged, but were originally installed to protect the rack structure or enhance safety. Typically includes: wall ties, crossbars, cross-aisle ties, wire mesh decks or pallet stops.
When loaded, the minimum plumbness and straightness (both cross and down aisle) of the frame should be less than ½” per 10’ of height.
Missing or damaged beams, loose, damaged or missing fasteners. Deficiencies in load locks and snap locks are common and will fail to hold beam end plates in place. Load beams secured to withstand 1,000 lbs. of uplift force.
Decking with exposed jagged edges, dips, or missing pieces can cause serious harm to employees or materials and should be replaced immediately.
VIDEO: Warehouse Safety Standards
- Understanding Warehouse Rack Safety
- Why You Need a Rack Safety Inspection: ANSI/RMI Rack Safety, Repair and Replacement Standards
- Assessing the Safety of Your Racking System
EXERCISE: Unsafe rack conditions are not always obvious. Can you spot all of the rack damage that does not comply with ANSI/RMI standards in the below video? Can you pinpoint where critical safety products are missing?
HINT: There are 20. Click on the video to see them identified.