Statistics on forklift injuries are staggering, making pallet rack safety a major concern at plants, warehouses, and distribution centers.
Every year, forklift accidents account for thousands of serious injuries and dozens of deaths in industrial facilities; statistics show that 100 workers are killed and another 20,000 seriously injured yearly in such accidents. OSHA estimates that 95,000 workers suffer injuries involving powered industrial trucks yearly, resulting in lost work time, workers' compensation claims, and productivity losses (Public Attitudes towards and Experiences with Workplace Safety Prepared by Dr. Tom W. Smith).
One way to help prevent some injuries is to install heavy-duty steel guardrails. Guardrails are easily customized and available in single-rail or double-rail in height. In addition to the standard bolted-to-post system, an optional lift-out/drop-in rail system can maintain accessibility to material or equipment while providing uninterrupted protection of motorized traffic.Other things to consider is when loading pallet rack systems with equipment such as forklifts, make sure the rack is intended for machine use. Furthermore, always ensure that only quality pallets are used. Broken or damaged pallets can cause loading and unloading problems, so regular inspection of pallet rack for broken or fractured parts, protruding nails, and missing supports is critical.
In addition to checking for faulty pallets, pallet racks should be checked periodically for any loose components or damage to the frame. Rack audits should be performed by a qualified person familiar with proper design and safety standards to make sure all aspects of the pallet rack system are working properly.
If the pallet rack system is used in areas accessible to the public, highly visible warning signs should be posted to discourage climbing on the racks. Pallet racks are not designed to be stepped or climbed on, as a slip and or fall may result in serious injury, even death. With respect, knowledge and regular maintenance, Pallet Rack Systems are a safe, trustworthy and necessary part of warehouse storage solutions. In addition, using forklifts in and around Pallet Rack is a very fast and efficient method and with the right training and protective measures, is very safe as well.