Look Out Below! Rack Accessories To Prevent Product Falls
While one of the benefits to storing product on pallet rack is the increased inventory density achieved by using the overhead space of a facility, what goes up must come down. Although gravity may be an unstoppable force, the risk of products or pallets falling from rack can be significantly minimized—and the safety of personnel and equipment operating in the area maximized—with the implementation of one or more accessories.
RMI’s publication, “Considerations for the Planning and Use of Industrial Steel Storage Racks,” covers three different types of equipment that can be added to a new or existing rack structure to reduce the risk of falling pallets or merchandise. They include:
- Load Supports Under the Pallet. To help keep pallet loads from falling through or between load beams upon which they rest, a variety of shelf-style containment accessories are available. They include drop-in, roll-in or snap-in crossbars (also called pallet support bars or safety bars); welded-wire rack decking; spaced wood boards; spaced metal channels, angles or plates; solid wood or perforated metal decking.
- Placement Guides. To prevent pallet loads from falling off the back or sides of the rack during placement of the load into the storage system, side entry guides and load stops with set-back distances—including horizontal load stop beams, vertical column load stops and load position stops—physically block the load from advancing beyond a certain distance within the racking.
- Barriers or Netting. To prevent loose products from sliding, overturning or toppling off a rack—particularly where rack is adjacent to walking aisles, loads are stored over work areas, or aisles or in warehouse stores open to the public—frame accessories such as flexible woven netting or rigid steel mesh barriers are attached to the rack system to prevent loads from falling and injuring people.
Further, utilize proper load containment techniques—such as stretch-wrapping, shrink-wrapping, banding, or integral-box pallets—to secure cartons or items on pallets, particularly when they are to be stored vertically in racking. In high seismic areas especially, loads should be wrapped such that the pallet can be tilted to 20 degrees without the product falling off.
Get more information and details about the different types of product fall prevention accessories in Section 3.4 of RMI’s publication, “Considerations for the Planning and Use of Industrial Steel Storage Racks,” starting on page 19.