Rack Codes & StandardsRack Design & Installation

Stop Products, Pallets From Falling Off Racks With These Accessories

Storing pallets of product on industrial steel storage rack is a great way to increase inventory density. But storing products overhead also means there’s a risk that items — or pallets — might fall off the rack and potentially harm personnel or damage equipment in the area. To prevent such an occurrence, a variety of accessories can be added to a racking structure, either during its initial installation or later on as a retrofit.

In “Considerations for the Planning and Use of Industrial Steel Storage Racks,” published by RMI, several different types of accessories that reduce the risk of falling pallets or merchandise are discussed. They include:

  • Load Stops. These are offered in three configurations that prevent a load from falling off the back of the rack: horizontal load stop beams mounted off the back of the columns and span the full width of the bay; vertical column load stops that attach to the rear beams; and load position stops which are bolted or welded to the rear beam at each pallet position to secure an individual load.
  • Load Supports. Located under a pallet to keep the load from falling through or between load beams upon which it rests, several different shelf-style containment accessories are available. They include drop-in, roll-in or snap-in crossbars (also called pallet support bars or safety bars); overlap crossbars; bolted or welded crossbars; double-deep crossbars; and crossbars fabricated from wood or other materials.
  • Decking. There are several types of rack decking. Welded-wire rack decking in waterfall style has channel supports and a lip that extends over the front and back of the beam to hold each deck in place; non-waterfall wire decks rest on top of the beams; and inside waterfall wire decks, which include channels but do not extend over the top of the beams. Solid decking is also available, and typically made from solid wood or perforated steel.
  • Placement Guides. To prevent pallet loads from falling off the sides of the rack during placement of the load into the storage system, single or double side entry guides and skid channels are offered.
  • 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 frame or beams.

Additionally, falling product can often be prevented by utilizing proper load containment techniques. Applying products such as stretch-wrapping, shrink-wrapping, banding, or integral-box pallets to secure cartons or items on pallets will significantly reduce the risk of an item falling from overhead when stored vertically in racking. Notably, in high seismic areas, loads should be wrapped such that the pallet can be tilted to 20 degrees without any 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.”