Ensure Rack Safety By Using A Professional For Post-Installation Inspections
Although day-to-day routine inspections of storage rack should be conducted by facility owners and employees to identify damaged areas—regardless of the severity—it’s also a good practice to engage an independent professional rack engineer to review the system. These professional reviews should be scheduled at a frequency determined by the system owner, as explained in RMI’s publication Considerations for the Planning and Use of Industrial Steel Storage Racks. Further, they should also occur immediately after any event that increases the risk of damage to the rack—such as a forklift collision or a seismic event.
Whether the qualified engineer is employed by the original rack system manufacturer or by an independent inspection professional, there are certain, more subtle types of damage that are less likely to be detected by a non-engineer. For example, broken anchor bolts or loose connection points between beams and columns are not nearly as obvious as a significantly bent upright. Further, an experienced rack engineer is far more likely to identify unauthorized reconfigurations or structural modifications—such as removal of diagonal bracing—that might reduce the rack’s capacity or integrity.
Additionally, a professional rack engineer can easily interpret the original design documentation to ensure the rack’s current configuration and components match, as well as perform an in-depth review and take detailed measurements as part of an unbiased evaluation.
Ultimately, regular rack inspections performed by a professional rack engineer will ensure that the system supports the operation’s ability to store and retrieve material as quickly and safely as possible. Or, put another way, a safe rack system ensures productivity and minimizes cost—and that’s a best practice every facility owner can endorse.
Looking for more information on how to conduct rack inspections? Review Section 6.2 of RMI’s publication Considerations for the Planning and Use of Industrial Steel Storage Racks for additional details about the inspection process.