How Often Should Your Rack System Be Inspected? A Checklist Of Recommendations
To ensure the safety and performance of a racking system, it’s important to regularly inspect industrial storage rack at routine intervals. But what exactly is the optimal inspection frequency in a given facility, considering that racks are designed to accommodate situation dependent applications?
In acknowledgement of that fact, RMI’s publication Considerations for the Planning and Use of Industrial Steel Storage Racks and its recent presentation at ProMat 2019, “Storage Rack Safety 101,” offer some basic guidelines to help the rack owner determine the frequency of regularly scheduled inspections. (It’s important to note that the guidelines advise that a system inspection occur immediately after any event that increases the potential of rack damage, like a seismic event or forklift collision.)
Rack inspections should be performed—at a minimum—annually. However, RMI’s guidelines also recommended that inspections should be performed more often in areas with the following characteristics:
- High traffic. The more vehicles that pass through a portion of the storage rack system, the more likely that area is to be damaged.
- Narrow aisles. The less width available to maneuver within the aisles, the more likely material handling equipment is to impact the rack.
- Transfer aisles. Rows of rack with transfer aisles are more likely to be damaged in those areas.
- Prior damage. A rack area that’s been damaged in the past has a higher likelihood of sustaining damage again.
- Cold environment. Racking in cold storage areas are more likely to be impacted by material handling equipment due to storage density.
As for how often each area of racking with a higher risk of impact damage, here are a few best practice suggestions:
- Racks with a high degree of potential for damage (with four or more of the characteristics outlined above) should be inspected once a month.
- Racks with a medium degree of potential for damage (with three or more of the characteristics outlined above) should be inspected every three months (quarterly).
- Racks with a low degree of potential for damage (with any one of the characteristics outlined above) should be inspected twice a year.
Additionally, the schedule and results of each rack safety inspection should be documented and kept on file for future reference.
Looking for more details on performing rack inspections? RMI’s publication Considerations for the Planning and Use of Industrial Steel Storage Racks, Section 6.2, offers additional information about the inspection process.