blue and orange pallet racking in warehouse

Pallet Racking Mistakes to Avoid

Pallet racking systems provide excellent storage solutions for your warehouse, whether big, small, or in-between. While these storage systems are sturdy and reliable, they aren’t invulnerable (read more about how to prevent pallet rack damage) and need to be taken care of properly. These are some common pallet racking mistakes to avoid.

Choosing Incorrectly Sized Racks

If you have the opportunity to start from the very beginning by buying a pallet racking system for your warehouse, make sure you assess what size and capacity your racks need to be to handle the materials you’ll be storing. Also, consider the height to depth ratio of the shelving so that you know how large your biggest pallets can be.

No matter how heavy the products you plan to place on the racks are, only buy heavy-duty racking capable of handling equipment damage, regular use, and other warehouse inevitabilities. Not selecting good-quality racking equipment is one of the costliest pallet racking mistakes you can make. 

Making Aisles Too Narrow

Narrow aisles can save space, right? Well, sometimes. If you don’t provide enough room for machine operators or order pickers to move between aisles or turn around, you’re making pallet racking mistakes that can cost you big time. Your storage systems are only as efficient as you make them, so during warehouse racking installation, make sure you’re accounting for both foot and machine traffic as necessary.

Skipping Regular Inspections

You should never skip out on pallet racking inspection. Whether you’re dealing with old racks or considering installing a new pallet rack, solutions for damage must be assessed as soon as possible. Dangerous racking should be unloaded and switched out immediately before it causes an accident.

Climbing Pallet Racks

Another of the most common pallet racking mistakes we see is workers climbing pallet racks. This is not only dangerous for the racking; it also puts those doing the climbing — and those on the ground below — at risk. Climbing pallet racks should never be done unless part of a harnessed stock picker system authorized by the warehouse manager. Even then, racks should never be climbed without a safety harness and backup fall safety line for the operator.

Overloading Pallet Racks

Overloading racks is a deadly pallet racking mistake. Pallet racking load capacities and weight limits are not a suggestion. They are a safety requirement. Always follow load requirements in the warehouse when dealing with pallet racking. Overloaded racks can damage merchandise, equipment, and human life. 

It is important that everyone in your warehouse, from rack inspectors to machine operators, knows the weight capacities of the pallet racking you have installed and why it is so treacherous to exceed weight limits. Even if no harm is done, failing to follow these rules can earn your warehouse a visit — and a fine — from OSHA inspectors. 

Not Securing Materials

Your warehouse should have guidelines for banding and wrapping pallets at a certain height. Putting pallets up into racking without any wrap or banding around them is another pallet racking mistake. While differences in material handling mean that different goods must be treated differently, as a general rule, merchandise should be secured. Unsecured items falling from shelves can harm racking, equipment, and people.

Your Warehouse Storage Partners

While these are some of the most common pallet racking mistakes, they are far from the only ones. If you see pallet racking misuse in your warehouse, bring it to your supervisor’s attention immediately or contact OSHA.

We want to partner with you to provide safe and effective storage solutions for your warehouse. We offer a variety of used shelving units for sale to customers all across NJ, NY, and PA. All of our equipment is guaranteed to be high-quality, durable, and convenient for your individual needs. Check out the rest of our pallet racking section to learn more, or contact us with more pallet racking questions or requests!