Pallet Rack safety is becoming increasingly scrutinized by OSHA, Federal and State agencies and insurance companies, and comes with substantial legal and moral liabilities. ANSI/RMI MH16.1, the industry standard for industrial pallet rack has recently been incorporated into the more general International Building Code. The I.B.C. includes the requirements and governs the construction of all warehouses in the United States. I.B.C. standards must be met in order to obtain local municipal building permit approval during construction and upon final completion. Therefore ANSI/RMI 16.1 requirements are now subject to the same enforcement requirements as the I.B.C.
Far too often, damaged rack remains in operation because it is ignored or mistakenly assumed to be safe. The reality is that many damaged systems are at the critical “TIPPING POINT” where just one more damaged component or just one more seemingly non-significant impact will push the system into collapse. While no official standards have been adopted in the United States regarding rack damage, we are referencing the SEMA standards that are enforced throughout Canada and Europe.
The damaged rack is unsafe, dangerous and unacceptable. It is imperative that management creates an environment with operators that ensures timely reports and immediate remedial action.
Severe Column Damage
Owners/Operators should inspect their pallet rack systems on a regular basis. Particular attention should focus on damaged or missing rack system components like the pictured images.
Helpful Hint: Inspect both front and back leg columns. Inspect for possible deformation BEHIND beam connectors as pictured above the upper right-hand corner.
Column Damage Inspection Criteria
Owners/Operators should inspect their pallet rack systems on a regular basis. Particular attention should focus on damaged or missing rack system components like the pictured images. Columns with rips, tears or deflection greater than ½" in either the down aisle or front to back direction must be repaired.
Corner column damage is more critical than damage to the front and sides of columns. Rack damage to free-standing single rows is more dangerous than the same damage on back to back rows with spacers
Helpful Hint: Inspect both front and back leg columns. Inspect for possible deformation BEHIND beam connectors.
Horizontal and Diagonal Strut Damage
Missing horizontal or diagonal braces, or braces with any rips, tears or deflections in either plane beyond ½" must be repaired
Helpful Hint: The Struts must be repaired if the welds are torn, broken or missing
Front and back footplates which are torn, ripped or twisted past ½" require repair
Each footplate of the upright frame (front and back) must be anchored to the floor with a minimum of one anchor per footplate or per manufacturer's requirements for that application. Check for missing, loose or sheared anchors.
Beam Damage, Missing or Improper Beam Connectors
Load beams must be secure to withstand 1,000 lbs. of uplift force.
Helpful Hint: O.E.M. beam safety locks may be purchased and installed, or standard grade 5 bolts and nuts may be used if applicable. Be sure both the left and right sides are secure.
Helpful Hint: Any beam with visible deformation or cracking of the beam end connectors must be unloaded and replaced. Be sure beams are fully engaged and installed with proper safety locks.