A Guide to Pallet Racking Operation and Maintenance

palletOwn a large scale business? Do you use a pallet racking system? Pallet racking systems can prove to be a great asset for any business. However, without the proper maintenance and correct operations, they can cause major problems and health risks to workers. For businesses who are using pallet racking systems, it’s advisable for all employers to ensure that their workers are fully skilled and knowledgeable in how a racking system operates.
The following is a guide to proper pallet racking operation and maintenance to help make your warehouse safer for all those involved.

Operation and Maintenance of the Racking System

When a racking system is set up, it should be maintained and operated according to the instructions of the manufacturer. Purchasing a racking system should be based upon the specific shape, weight, and size of the product which you plan to store on the system.
Your racking system should also be compatible with the types of pallets that are used within your industry, along with any material handling equipment which is used within the workplace. For example, the size of your pallet racking system should be fitted with enough aisle space to allow easy turning of a forklift. If your racking system requires any additional modifications, you will need to check with the original manufacturer, designer, or supplier to ensure it will still meet industry standards.

Work Load Limits

The work load limit should never exceed by the unit load of the goods or products which are to be stored on the pallets, bay, or beam. To ensure safety, it’s important to make sure all workers are fully informed about the safe working loads for your specific pallet racking. A great way to inform workers about the work load limits can be to place up signs in highly visible areas which feature:

  • The supplier’s name and trademark
  • Racking manufacturer’s name
  • The installation date
  • The designer’s name
  • The working unit load limit
  • Total working unit load limit for each separate bay
  • The total unit load limit for each separate pallet beam level
  • The maximum distance between the second and the first beam level
  • The maximum distance range from the base plate level to the first beam level

Racking System Components and Design Modifications

If you’re looking to modify the racking system in any way, it’s important to remember that this may affect the load limit and the way the pallet racking system will support the pallets when used. Any modifications should be brought to the notice of all employees through basic communication and proper signage.
It’s important for you to never make any physical alterations to brackets, components, beams, uprights, or clips without specific recommendations from the manufacturer. If other parts are used within the modification, it should be reported, and the new load limits and integrity should be revalued.
In areas which feature single bay racking systems where a single row is installed and a pedestrian crossing is at the back of the racking system, the installation of rear protection should be installed to help prevent the possible falling of the pallet loads from the back of the racking.

Operating Safety Instructions

To make sure your pallet racking system is operated safely, it’s important to address everything with your workers. Some things your operation instructions should consist of include:

  • SWLS
  • Correct use and application of all equipment
  • Prohibitions on any unauthorized alterations
  • Requirement that any damage to be reported for assessment.

Stored Goods on Pallet Safety

The goods you’re going to store on your pallet racking system needs to be addressed to ensure optimal safety for workers. Some things that should be addressed include:

  • Is the safety rack suitable for the products and their weight?
  • Will the pallet rack support the products?
  • Are the pallet racks easily accessible to work equipment when required?

If there are any changes which have occurred with the pallet racking system, it’s important to have it checked by someone with prior knowledge of the system. It is also important to know when any changes have occurred with the pallets themselves.


When it comes to proper pallet racking operation and maintenance for workplace safety, it’s important to take everything into consideration. By following these simple guidelines, you can easily create a safer working environment for all your employees. Remember that inspection of your racking system and workplace should be done a few times a year to ensure everyone is safe all year round. So, have you implemented any of these safety guidelines for your pallet racking system? Did you see any problems around your own system?