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Safety tips for heavy duty shelving

When it comes to choosing the right type of shelving or racking for your warehouse, there are many, many factors to be considered, from available floor space and layout to product size, shape and weight. However, in their search for the right units and systems, which can improve warehouse productivity and operational efficiency, many warehouse managers neglect one utterly important aspect: safety. There might be many types of industrial shelving units and some of them may be better than others for your needs, but regardless of what suits your requirements best, you need to make your shelving safe. Whether you’re buying off the shelf units and bays or you’re working with a design service, such as Rapid Racking, here are some basic, yet essential safety tips on how to install and use your heavy duty shelving, so that you can benefit from all the advantages that they right type of racking and shelving can bring.


Make a safety checklist

Before buying and installing heavy duty shelving or racking of any type, you should check some elementary aspects within your warehouse and just so that you don’t miss anything, you should pin down a safety checklist. The first thing on your checklist should be floor inspection. Determine which area within the warehouse will be the destination of the industrial shelving units and inspect the floor to ensure that it’s level and strong enough for the load. While you’re there, visualise the layout of the units and check that the aisle width is enough for the type of forklift you use or any other kind of handling equipment you might have. Another thing on your list should be checking safety exists. When you’re visualising your storage layout, make note of any fire exists and safety equipment there and ensure that your shelving won’t obstruct them.


Install shelving protection

It is not enough to buy the best industrial shelving units for your warehouse operations, the kind of system that will help you reduce labour times and picking errors and improve efficiency, you also need to install shelving and racking protection, such as post protectors, column guards and safety bollards, in case of any collisions. Typically, all these products are also available at shelving suppliers, so just ask your supplier what’s their range of racking protection and warehouse safety products.


Respect safety instructions

The worst thing you or your warehouse personnel could do is overload the shelving or racking units. They might be heavy duty shelving systems, but loading instructions and warnings are there for a reason. Exceeding the recommended weight load can cause the beams to bend and the frames to collapse and the heavier the loads the bigger the damage, as you can imagine. This is why it’s also a good idea to display the safe weight loading information, which you can do using labelling and signage products, such as notice plates or bay marker panels. Finding the right type of shelves or racks for your warehouse operations may be a great advantage for productivity, but keeping the warehouse safe is an essential aspect of production.