Accident Do Happen
Preventing Catastrophic Accidents From Happening in Your Warehouse
Companies often do not realised that accidents in warehouses happened more frequent than they thought. While not all accidents amount to heavy losses, one of the most catastrophic scenarios that can happen in a warehouse, and possibly every warehouse operator's worst nightmare, is a Rack Collapse.
Why does Rack Collapse happen?
It could be due to a simple act of the forklift operator reversing into the edge of a large pallet rack. What happens next? Within seconds the warehouse was turned into a wreck. As the racks collapsed cross aisle creating a domino effect and eventually the warehouse turned a catastrophic collapse with the risk of human injuries or at worst fatalities.
Other possible causes include:
- Poor or altered configuration of the racks without seeking professional assistance.
- Under designed racking system, manufactured by unqualified companies.
- No proper stowage of pallets, overloading the rack system beyond its engineered weight capacity.
- Use of mixed components from different manufacturers resulting in no form of rack system compliance.
- Copy products which have never been tested.
- Use of substitute components instead of originals.
- No proper rack maintenance and reporting system to monitor damages caused to the rack system.
- Not using pallet rack protectors.
Good Collapse Vs Bad Collapse
While damages to the rack systems are sometimes inevitable considering the amount of forklift activities happening in the warehouse on a daily basis, there are certainly ways that can prevent catastrophic rack failures.
A good collapse is when a section of the rack is damaged due to material handling driver error where frames are damaged so severely that collapse is inevitable. However, only that particular damaged section of the rack collapses. The rest of the rack system in the warehouse remains intact and unaffected by the rack collapse.
In this instance, damages caused to the warehouse is minimised. This happens only when the supplier of the rack system in the warehouse has products manufactured adhering to strict international industry standards.
This is known as a vertical collapse where only the adjacent bays either side of the frame is affected.
A bad collapse on the other hand results in tremendous damages. It creates a domino cross aisle collapse when the damaged section of the rack system collapses, bringing down the other sections of the racks which were originally unaffected by the rack damage.
This causes the warehouse operator to incur massive losses and greatly affect their day to day operations. It could also result in personal injury or in the worst case scenario, death of the workers.
Solution to prevent warehouse accident
1. Choose the Certified supplier
At SSI Schaefer, our pallet racking system is designed to comply with international standards such as EN 15512:2009 and AS 4084:2012. The SSI Schaefer Interlock 600 Pallet Racking System was designed by applying the latest product and manufacturing developments in SSI Schaefer Europe and following the EN 15512:2009 Racking Design Code which uses second order analysis for determining the bay load capacity and safety factor.
2. Racking Maintenance and Safety Program
A regular Racking Maintenance and Safety Program to ensure that the racking systems operating in your warehouse stays within the original design specification, and will also send technicians to physically check the systems for any damage caused by Mechanical Handling Equipment.
3. Use of Rack Protector
Under the EN standards, it is obligatory to use rack protectors with the pallet racking system to protect pallet racks from structural damage caused by a forklift. Pallet racks are not designed to withstand multiple forklift impacts. Even low speed collisions can lead to serious structural damage.