Case study

Does your 2023 calendar include a racking inspection?

Dec 29, 2022 | Pallet Racking

With the New Year approaching fast, warehouses across the country are eager to begin a prosperous 2023, by grasping at potential New Year opportunities and making impactful New Year resolutions. But there is one thing all warehouses should also aim to do in 2023….

Booking your annual racking inspection may not be at the top of your list of priorities as you approach the New Year, but here are a few reasons why making it a priority could help you avoid a catastrophic event in the year ahead:

Ensure workplace safety

This is the number one reason to ensure you schedule your 2023 racking inspection. For employers, the safety of employees should always be the primary concern and employers must make every effort to ensure the safety of employees as they carry out their duties. The purpose of an annual racking inspection is to detect areas of heightened risks and allow preventative action to be taken before a serious incident occurs. Without your 2023 professional inspection, a deflected beam or damaged upright could go unnoticed and this can worsen as the damaged areas continue to bear heavy weight loads. A sudden collapse becomes possible with no control over when it happens or who may be in the area when it does happen. This can have devastating consequences on a personal level for anyone affected and also for the business. Like a yearly car MOT, the annual racking inspection will alert you of any risks with recommended actions where necessary to help you keep your structures and workplace safe.

Pallet being picked by FLT

Be compliant with Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER)

Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) states that an employer is legally obliged to ensure that employees are not exposed to unnecessary risk when using workplace equipment. Your annual rack inspection can help you to achieve the required levels of safety standards in the workplace in order to fulfill this legal and moral duty, and avoid situations that may involve legal proceedings.

Minimise disruption to your operation

A rack inspection is a non-disruptive procedure, whereas damaged racking can be very disruptive. A minor defect in your racking system can escalate if it goes undetected and early action is not taken. When it becomes a larger problem, it could see a whole section of the structure being taken out of use and this can cause hindrances to daily processes and procedures and in turn, interrupt the entire operation. With declined efficiency, the risk of customer dissatisfaction is heightened and this can lead to a significant financial blow to the business.

Warehouse Pallet Racking

Avoid reputational damage

News travels fast! This is especially true where reports are negative. The word of an avoidable incident involving a collapsed racking structure in a workplace can cause serious and possibly irreparable reputational damage. For a business facing such negative publicity, it can be hard to regain the confidence of customers and partners to the level it was before the incident. A racking inspection is a positive action that helps to prevent such incidents in the first place whilst illustrating your commitment as a business to workplace safety.

Eliminate the potential loss of contracts

When handling goods on behalf of a client, it is their expectation that service is continuous and without disruption. An incident connected to damaged racking, which has hindered the contracted services could reduce the confidence of your clients and risk a non-renewal of contract. Many large businesses specify that an annual rack inspection must be carried out as part of the contract to avoid such incidents. For those businesses, the contract is discouraged if there is reluctance to ensure an annual racking inspection.

Minimise the risk of insurance invalidation

As a business owner and employer, insurance is something you’re likely to take very seriously and whilst insurers may not state the specific requirement to carry out an annual racking inspection, it’s worth reading the small print carefully. Ensuring structural safety and employee safety is likely to be a condition of the policy and documented racking inspections with associated works is a way of illustrating conformity to this.

pallet racking in use

Gain peace of mind

Without a racking inspection, how do you know for certain that your racking is safe? The truth is you don’t. This is because a professionally trained racking inspector knows where and how to detect hidden weaknesses or damage which may otherwise go unnoticed. Pallet racking has a heavy job to do and is situated in a busy environment with moving vehicles close by, which means the risk of damage is always present, even if the structure is new. Knowing that your employees are working with a structure that could potentially harm them can be a great worry, which is why the simple process of a professional racking inspection can make all the difference.

It takes little time and effort to arrange

Booking your rack inspection doesn’t take much of your time at all, and can save you greatly in the long run in terms of time, costs, reputation and profitability. Whether you have a single row of racks, a warehouse full of racks or multiple warehouses full of racks, the little time it takes to arrange your a professional inspection is certainly worth it. Just take a few moments to email sales@wslmail.co.uk or call 0113 2045350 to arrange that all important racking inspection with our rack inspections coordinator today.

Increase Longevity of your pallet racking solution

It may be a very robust structure, but without awareness of potential weaknesses where action can be taken to rectify, the risk is that the pallet racking lifespan is unnecessarily cut short which isn’t what any business wants given the significance of the investment. A pallet racking system can last as long as needed providing the safety and condition of the structure is maintained even as it ages which results in a long term and substantial return on the investment.

Your WSL Racking Inspection

At WSL our inspectors carry out racking inspections with professionalism and to SEMA guidelines. Assessing each and every component, the process is thorough as our inspector completes one section at a time. On completion a detailed report will be issued to you, in which any areas of concern will be highlighted with advice on appropriate actions where required.

The traffic light system:

Green – Weakness or damage which requires continual monitoring

Amber: Serious damage is found and the section must not be in use until components have been replaced or repaired.

Red – Severe damage to which you will be notified immediately and immediate action will be required.

The time it takes to inspect your racking will depend on the size of your structure; however the inspection can be carried out without disrupting your operation. When your next inspection is due, we will contact you with a reminder in plenty of time and offer you an opportunity to book the next inspection.

Racking Check taking place

In-house safety check training

Anything can happen in the year between your professional inspections which is why WSL racking inspectors offer in-house training to help your staff learn how to spot potential risks. This is a half day course worth investing in because it can further increase the safety of your warehouse. Your team can play an active role in ensuring their own safety and the safety of others by learning how to look for potential risks and understand the appropriate actions that should be taken. Depending on the size of your structure, these in-house checks can be carried out daily, weekly, fortnightly or monthly.

Mezzanine floor inspections are just as important

Like pallet racking, a mezzanine floor structure can pose a risk if weakened areas have the opportunity to worsen. As a workplace platform, those working on or near the structure have the right to be safe. A mezzanine floor inspection can detect weaknesses caused by fork lift truck collisions, loose railings or worn out flooring for example. So of you are wondering if a mezzanine floor inspection is necessary, the answer is a definite yes. Do WSL racking inspectors carry out mezzanine floor inspections too? That’s a definite yes too! Call 0113 2045350 or email sales@wslmail.co.uk to book your safety inspection today!

Large warehouse mezzanine floor

Wishing you a very prosperous yet safe New Year! From the WSL team!!

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