Rack safety inspections are typically conducted using a paper-based checklist system, which is labour-intensive as well as inefficient. Inspection software assists companies to transfer these checklist into a more reliable, accessible digital format, meaning inspectors can continue their routine inspections but don’t have to worry about paper collected data being damaged or misinterpreted, or spending time on data entry, a common trend when using paper based systems.
Assuring employees’ and warehouse operators’ safety at work should be priority, however, often little is done by management to pursue and continually better a company’s safety standards after an initial racking system has been implemented. Companies that do not update their safety inspection methods often fail to acknowledge and adapt to modern practices and materials, and can seriously jeopardise safety standards held within the organisation.
Professional warehouses require digital rack safety inspections and inspections
To ensure safety levels are meet, it is recommended that regular audits for pallet racking systems/installations should be conducted at least once every 12 months as a minimum, in accordance with AS 4084-2012 (Ref. AS 4084-2012, Section 8.1 General, and Section 8.2-Inspections.)
For racking systems that are used more frequently it is recommended that inspections are conducted more frequently, simply as there is more chance of damage to occur, i.e. a forklift may have damaged the infrastructure without notice, or racks may not be being loaded correctly. Consider your employees and warehouse operators – by enforcing professional safety standards, you’re enforcing a culture a safety and high standards within your company.
A procedure guide to conduct Digital Rack Safety Inspections
To assist your business in creating thorough safety reports and effective digital rack safety inspections, we suggest a guideline that your business can implement in its operations when considering digital safety systems:
1. Consult with software suppliers to ensure correct operation of inspection software.
2. Consult with software suppliers to upload physical paper-based checklists and pre-input correct triggers and corrective actions.
3. Note that working load limits for rack systems are being abided.
4. Check that the racking installation has not been altered since the previous inspection/installation. A copy of the load application and configuration drawings shall be retained for this purpose, (these documents can be loaded into the inspections software).
5. Frequently inspect any possible damage due to impact on the racking installation.
6. Inspect the out-of-plumb of the racking and base plates.
7. Inspect for any dislocation and deformation of sections and connections for uprights and beams.
8. Inspect connectors for deformation or signs of cracking at the welds.
9. Act on any corrective action.
10. Distribute report to appropriate parties.
These procedures can be automated by a digital checklist, with the inspectors only reporting defects and non-. When the safety level is not met, a pre-determined response is triggered automatically, i.e. contact details etc. This not only saves time and data collection accuracy, but it also reassures all stakeholders know the correct action to take. This digital inspection can be exported into a PDF/Excel to either be printed out or emailed to the relevant stakeholders.
Long-term digital strategy for rack safety
The benefits of digital inspection systems are numerous, with a log of detailed data that demonstrates a company’s ongoing efforts to enforce safety standards. Inspectors can now review trends and forecast future areas and scenarios towards which companies may need to direct additional attention. Ultimately, the risks of failure to meet AS4084-2012 can be as inconsequential as inventory loss/damage and business shutdowns or as major as injury and potential company litigation. It only takes a simple mistake to result in devastating consequences and it’s up to the organisation to pre-empt these scenarios from occurring.