Is Your Warehouse Racking Safe and Compliant?
A periodic inspection of your warehouse racking by a qualified expert can ensure risks are kept to a minimum.
Let’s face it: warehouse rack collapses are rare occurrences. You actually have to be fairly negligent to get one to fall down. If you have a reasonable inspection routine and a repair component, it’s not likely to happen.
Nevertheless, many incidents occur over time as people and product move through your facility. At the very least, it’s extremely likely that workers will have inadvertently collided into your racking structure with forklifts or hit it with pallets. This means the odds that 20-year-old racking equipment has gone undamaged are slim to none.
In addition, health and safety regulations are continually placing more emphasis and responsibility on companies and management to carry out risk self-assessments in the workplace to ensure the safety of employees and visitors.
The general consensus is that an internal health and safety committee should examine racking equipment on a monthly basis and an external expert should do so on a yearly basis.
According to 3D Storage's CEO, Kevin Minkhorst, “A lot of people are putting their heads in the sand about this, but we’re saying this is a factor in your warehouse environment and the standards are higher than they were even five years ago. The Ministry is getting stricter and you need to pay attention to this issue and that’s what we’re here for.”
There are three factors driving warehouse racking compliance: government regulation, best practices as set out in the CSA standard and municipal oversight.
In recent years, the Ontario Ministry of Labour has become more proactive in terms of getting companies to pay attention to rack damage and putting into place a rack inspection routine. The Occupational Health and Safety Act of Ontario requires that a Pre-Start Health and Safety Review (PSR) be performed by a professional engineer on any structure or protective element that has been installed or modified since October 7th, 2000, or for original documentation from the supplier that certifies compliance be available on-site always.
A PSR will help prevent serious injuries or fatalities and damages to inventory, equipment and building structures.
Canadian Standards Association
Section 8.1.6 of the Canadian Standards Association (CSA Group)’s new user guide for steel storage states the following:
The frequency of both routine and expert inspections should be determined by a risk assessment done by a health and safety professional, the rack vendor, or engineering consultant specialized in rack inspection. In general, the routine inspections should be conducted monthly, and the expert inspections performed annually. The frequency should, as a minimum, ensure compliance with local regulations.
Note: The frequency of inspections can change over time depending on the outcome and findings of successive inspections.
The user guide goes into further details with a list of items any risk assessment should consider when establishing frequency. But the bottom line is this: If you have a rack collapse and you weren’t following the CSA’s best practices, you may find yourself in a heap of trouble compared to if you were following the industry standard. If it is found that you were not following industry norms, your company may face legal action.
In the past, municipalities did not require rack permits. But nowadays, as a source of revenue, they routinely demand permits for rack structures.
The only way to obtain a permit is to provide an engineer-stamped drawing that outlines the structure, along with proof that a certified engineer has examined the floor and rack structure and has provided a seal of approval that the structure is safe.
The 3D Solution
A periodic inspection of your warehouse racking can ensure risks are kept to a minimum and that you continue to operate at full capacity.
3D Storage Solutions offers expert inspection services, reports and repair work. Our thorough, professional inspection service is conducted by certified and experienced engineers who have a wealth of storage industry experience. They’ll inspect and verify that your storage equipment meets provincial requirements.
As well, our pallet racking safety consultants will inspect your warehouse racking and equipment, make recommendations via an in-depth report, and help you reduce potential risks to your employees while abiding by the Ontario Ministry of Labour’s guidelines.
Let us help ensure that everyone remains safe and that your racking equipment and accessories are compliant.
Contact us today:
Phone: (905) 634-0027