The simple answer is 'yes'. If you or your supervisors are thinking what is a rack inspection or an in-house inspection policy? you may want to look into it further to avoid potential safety hazards or lawsuits. The safety of a warehouse is an employer's responsibility and is ultimately associated with legal liabilities.
Very few warehouse operators have an in-house rack inspection policy in place. An in-house inspection policy could be as simple as establishing damage/incident reporting and testing for proper equipment operating techniques for all operators. Racks are susceptible to damage from forklift accidents, collisions, dropped or misplaced loads, and other incidents that do not get promptly reported.
There is great risk of rack damage due to mechanical materials handling equipment, so your operators must be trained when handling rack product when there is a high degree of activity in the warehouse. For example, if racking gets struck by a forklift, there needs to be a protocol to identify any unsafe components in order to reduce the dangers of collapse. Taking damaged segments out of service immediately until it can be properly fixed or replaced is typically the best response to prevent potential injury to personnel caused by continued use of damaged racking.
Below are examples of the potential hidden costs of a rack collapse:
- Potential OSHA fines from violating safety requirements
- Replacing equipment and damaged product from accidents
- Use of temporary storage facilities
- Higher rates from workers' compensation or liability
- Lawsuit expenses as a result from accidents
From those examples you can guess that we recommend you 1) get your rack inspected by professionals and 2) put an in-house rack inspection policy in place to prevent injury and loss of productivity/revenue. Our professional staff at Russell Industries can conduct these inspections for you or we can simply give you recommendations to help your staff develop safety policies.