Recommendations to Workers and Forklift Operators When Working in the Vicinity of Industrial Storage Racks.

Industrial storage racks of various types are the basic necessity when it comes to optimizing the operations of warehouses. They not only help stack products safely but also aid in the proper management of floor space. Storage racks are available in a wide range of models in several specifications to meet the product stacking requirements of warehouses. Having said the significance of industrial shipping and storage solutions, it is also important to discuss the hazards associated with them when they are put to use in a busy warehouse environment.

Though not always the case, storage racking systems may collapse or bring unforeseen accidents due to improper handling and storing of materials or unsafe/improper handling of equipment. In a few cases, careless deeds of personnel/pedestrians moving across the storage rack vicinity also lead to safety risks, as well as costly property damage. This post, which contains two parts, is intended to discuss a few amongst the several practices that must be followed by forklift drivers and other personnel working in close contact with the storage racks.

Guidelines for Forklift Drivers

Forklift trucks, which are basically powered industrial lift trucks, must be used safely and appropriately by operators when loading and unloading goods that are stacked in the storage racks. Consider the following safety measures when operating forklifts in the vicinity of metal coil racks, roll racks, or suspended steel roll racks.

  • Forklifts account for 25% of injuries at work, report says. The vehicle should be handled by only those who is trained enough to control its activities. It is the responsibility of warehouse managers to ensure that the forklifts are in the safe hands of experienced drivers.

  • Perform a thorough check on seat belts, tires, lights, horn, brakes, backup alarms and fluid levels before each use. This is one of the most overlooked safety precautions, which leads to unforeseen accidents. Ensure that the vehicle is in good condition to handle the loads.

  • The vehicle must be operated smoothly without rush. It must be maintained at a low level speed. Ensure to sound the horn at intersections.

  • Do not place extra weight on the forklift and this minimizes the risk of product damage due to collapse.

  • Follow the truck manufacturer’s operational requirements when loading and unloading items from the rack.

  • Accidents such as the storage rack collapse may occur due to a fast approaching or rapidly turning forklifts. It is the responsibility of the warehouse supervisor to warn the driver when he/she indulges in such careless deeds.

  • Ensure that the industrial lift truck rightly suits the specifications of the storage racking solution. Use them wisely only for the purpose for which it is designed for.

  • Operators should be appropriately dressed and must be equipped with the right safety equipment such as:
    • Hi-visibility jacket
    • Safety shoes
    • Hard-hats

  • Do not ever operate the forklift truck, if the operator is mentally stressed, or fatigued.

  • Maintain a clear view ahead and behind when moving the vehicle in between the storage racks while loading and unloading to avoid any kind of collapse.

  • Check the warning light, boards and symbols when moving the vehicle.

Since the racks are tightly stored with several items at a time, a small unusual impact on them will result in their collapse, causing unexpected accidents.

Guidelines to Workers/Pedestrians

  • Although the industrial storage solutions are built to last with the finest range of materials, they may lose their structural integrity with years pass by. Hence, personnel who are in regular contact with these storage solutions must keep an eye on cracks, dents, bends, and twists.

  • Provide the workforce with adequate information and training regarding the rated capacity, storage recommendations, best loading and unloading practices, hazards associated with their storage racks, and basic maintenance procedures, among others.

  • Keep a safe distance from mobile equipment that is moving in and around racking such as forklift and trucks, among others.

  • Since industrial racking systems are being stacked with lots of items, there are chances of the objects falling from heights leading to several low to high impact injuries. Hence, always be assured to wear the following

    1. Hand and forearm protection, such as gloves
    2. Eye protection
    3. Steel-toed safety shoes or boots
    4. Metal, fiber, or plastic metatarsal guards

  • Workers must be aware of the safety concerns of manual handling, as there are several forms of manual loading and unloading that is required in a warehousing facility.

  • Always work in well-lit environments with a clear visibility to the stacked items. This helps to minimize the risk of injury due to slips, trips, falls, and overexertion along with being getting struck by falling objects.

  • It is always a good practice to keep the aisles and passageways clear and in good condition, with no obstruction. This helps to avoid accidental fall of workers who perform loading and unloading manually.

There are plenty of tips in the aforementioned when it comes to the safety guidelines for personnel working near storage rack solutions. Choosing the right storage racks after considering weight, shape and size of the product being moved/stored, accessibility needs, type of lift equipment being used and any other unique warehouse conditions also contribute in safe warehouse operation to a large extent. Utilizing an industrial shipping and storage rack model for spaces & applications that they are not intended for brings you more trouble than good.

Consider partnering with leading provider of warehouse storage solutions and he/she will guide you towards an informed purchase. Prominent manufacturers not only bring you the quality products but also offer guidance in understanding the safety measures. SPS ideal solutions is one amongst such providers of several models of coil racks, roll racks, suspended steel roll racks who can meet the storage needs of your warehouses!