The Basics Of Storage Rack Safety Detailed In RMI’s ProMat 2019 Education Session

By MHI Industry Group, RMI (Rack Manufactures Institute)

At ProMat 2019, held this past April in Chicago, members of RMI presented a free, on-floor seminar to attendees. Entitled “Storage Rack Safety 101,” the 35-minute session’s slides and audio were recorded for those who were unable to attend, or who wish to review the presentation.

The session explains in detail why the safe use of a storage rack system is key to warehouse productivity. Outlined are the range of publications and other resources available from RMI to assist in the design and implementation of a safe rack system, maintenance and inspection practices, and how to assess rack damage and make a subsequent decision to repair or replace the components.

The first segment of the session explores the different areas of a rack structure and their vulnerability to damage. These include columns, frame bracing, base anchors, shelves and beams, connectors and decking—typically caused by impacts from a forklift. Additionally, damage can be caused by a load’s pallet failing, or from improper placement of the load into the racking system.

A range of storage rack accessories that can boost the safety of a rack system and its components is also detailed in the presentation. These include system enhancements, such as column inserts or reinforcement, double columns, heavy-duty shelf bracing, external column protectors and beam uplift protection. Likewise, accessories such as end of rack row  guards and rack column protective devices—both free-standing and attached—are covered. Further, the session explores the safety advantages of wire decking, including increased visibility and fire code adherence.

The second part of the session explores rack inspections, including:

The presentation also explains the difference between a rack inspection and a rack assessment, specifically with regard to deciding whether to repair a rack system versus repairing the damaged component.

Want to learn more about safe practices in installation, use and repair of industrial storage rack systems? RMI offers a variety of standards and guideline publications, here.