Case study

Rack Inspection Training for Operatives: Is it Necessary?

Nov 28, 2023 | Pallet Racking, Uncategorized

If a professional racking inspection is conducted in your warehouse on a yearly basis, is it really necessary to train your staff on how to inspect the racking for potential safety issues? It certainly is if you want to ensure continual and proactive hazard prevention.

Whilst productivity and efficiency make for a successful warehouse operation, workplace safety is a critical aspect not to be overlooked. The warehouse function is to store and manage inventory in high volumes, for which storage structures, handling equipment, and people play an essential role. For the warehouse operative, it’s the daily navigation of pallet racking systems which makes them particularly vulnerable to potential risks, and only when those risks are understood can the safety of those operatives be prioritised.

Racking being inspected by trained operative (5)

Importance of rack inspection training

It’s the combination of large-scale storage structures, moving forklift trucks and the fragility of the operator in comparison which creates the hazardous environment. This demands the need to implement measures that will minimise the possibility of a dangerous incident occurring.

Ensuring warehouse operatives undergo rack inspection training is one of those measures. This is a practical approach to warehouse safety which is highly effective in its purpose of minimising risks. It works by equipping warehouse operatives with the knowledge and competencies needed to navigate their tasks and work environment safely.

  • Prevent dangerous incidents.

With pallet racking comes a looming silent threat which can develop into a serious incident, particularly when it comes to load capacities, procedures, and damage. Rack inspection training is an opportunity for operatives to learn about safe load capacities, how to avoid pallet racking overload, and retrieval procedures. They will also learn how to recognise damage or and mismatched components, how to address it and why each aspect of their learning is important to the overall safety of the warehouse.

  • Minimise risk of injury.

Safe conduct when navigating the pallet racking system will minimise the likelihood of injury from strain, falls or collisions. The knowledge gained from the training allows the operator to handle loads and work with the pallet racking system without exposing themselves to unnecessary danger.

  • Protect inventory.

Operators learn to effectively handle pallets loaded with inventory to prevent collisions that could damage the racks and inventory. This in turn contributes towards the efficiency of the warehouse in terms of meeting customer expectations and eliminating costly damage.

  • Enhance longevity of equipment

By practicing safe handling and navigation, there’s minimal opportunity to compromise the integrity of the pallet racking system which eliminates the risk of damage that can cause injury and downtime. Not only will help you to avoid any financial and reputational costs, but the pallet racking will last longer, making the investment even more worthwhile.

  • Compliance with regulations

By enabling warehouse operatives to learn about rack safety, the company’s compliance with the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWERS) is better supported. This legislation states that workplace equipment used by employees must never pose unnecessary risk. A knowledgeable team who understands safety protocols when it comes to pallet racking, in terms of conduct, damage recognition and procedures, will help keep the structure safe, and the business on the right side of the law.

  • Emergency readiness

Having undergone rack inspection training, operators will know how to handle a critical incident, including what to do should the structure suffer a failure. This will help to protect the safety and welbeing of everyone in the warehouse and minimise the overall impact of the incident.

  • Minimises downtime.

The ability to recognise damage, even if it seems minor and knowing the procedure to follow in such circumstances allows the area of concern to be addressed sooner rather than later. This helps to prevent the opportunity for the damage to worsen which can lead to a catastrophic incident and significant downtime. Empowering your team in this way will help maintain the safety of your racking structure between its professional annual inspections.

  • Fosters a culture of safety.

When staff undertake rack inspection training, a safety culture within the warehouse is encouraged. Having become aware of how to manage and maintain rack safety whilst understanding the importance of it, the warehouse team is likely to follow protocols, act promptly to areas of concern and encourage safe conduct amongst each other.

  • Encourages employee confidence.

When trained well, employees feel more confident in their role and less intimidated by the idea of concerning situations when working with a pallet racking system. This promotes positivity within the workplace, job satisfaction and employee confidence levels.

  • Prevents financial losses.

Informed operators who understand the importance of rack safety and who can follow protocol to ensure the rack safety is maintained is worth investing in. Their ability to maintain the safety of the warehouse has the potential to save the business from incurring substantial costs going forward.

  • Fosters better insurance protection

Trained on-site racking inspectors demonstrates to insurers a real commitment to safety. Insurers will view this as a risk minimising strategy which can lead to better warehouse insurance prospects.

Racking being inspected by trained operative (4)

How is rack inspection training conducted?

Training providers are likely to differ when it comes to the way they conduct racking inspection training, but here’s an overview of what you can expect once the formalities are taken care of:

  1. Introduction – The trainer will begin with a group conversation where the delegates are asked about their own level of knowledge in racking inspection training.
  2. The risks: The trainer will discuss the potential risks a pallet racking system can pose if it hasn’t been inspected.
  3. The details: The delegates will learn about different pallet racking types, how to identify them, how they vary in tolerances and loading, how to inspect them, and how to document their findings.
  4. The inspection: Using the right PPE, the training group will move to the warehouse where the racking components are discussed and physically inspected by the delegates individually under the trainer’s supervision and using the information and resources, they received in the first part of the training.
  5. Group Findings: As one group the team of delegates and trainer will then carryout component inspections and discuss the findings and required actions.

The course would generally take no more than half a day to complete and can accommodate anywhere between 1 – 6 people.

Racking being inspected by trained operative (1)

In Summary: Having trained in-house racking inspectors will help safeguard people and assets

As part of your warehouse team, trained internal racking inspectors will contribute greatly to the overall safety of the warehouse. Their ability to perform regular comprehensive racking inspections, detect issues, and take appropriate action will help to protect all personal and business assets. Whilst facilitating the adherence to safety standards the actions and capabilities of your internal racking inspectors help to minimise risks, enhance efficiency and promote a much safer working environment!

Just half a day’s training is all it takes to improve the safety of your warehouse!

So, what are you waiting for? Embark on the path to a safer, more efficient warehouse by calling WSL today! Speak to our inspection’s coordinator on 0113 2045350 to find out more details including a quotation and availability! Or simply email sales@wslmail.co.uk and we’ll get straight back too you!

Download our racking inspector training flyer here!

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