Increased Occupational Health & Safety legislation is prompting users to ensure their storage and racking systems are safe and investigate methods of avoiding ongoing damage. According to Seamus Redmond, executive general manager technical services, Dexion have taken a leading position on rack safety with the recent launch of a range of new safety products and signs.
The safety of a storage and racking system should be the primary concern for all end users, as racking systems can be required to support incredibly heavy or unstable loads.
“Increasing numbers of our customers are requesting that their existing storage and racking systems be audited, repaired or replaced and assessed for capacity,” says Redmond. “This was one of the reasons Dexion recently established Dexion Lifetime Service, which provides 24/7 service and support around Australia”.
Collisions between forklifts and racking is a relatively common occurrence in a busy warehouse. An audit will assist in ensuring the number of incidents is kept to a minimum and it will examine the set up of the warehouse and help identify a pattern of operation that may be contributing to rack damage, or that additional training, signage, or upgraded rack protection systems are required.
“From Dexion’s perspective, safety signs, which include Safe Working Load Signs and Maintenance signs are crucial items in rack safety,” says Redmond. “Current Australian Standard AS 4084 (Steel Storage racking) requires that racking above certain parameters display Safe Working Load Signs containing information as stated in the Code.”
Since the Code was first published and issued in 1993, its requirement for such signage has been instrumental in the safe use of racking. However, the codes stipulation is a minimum requirement and could be further improved.
Consequently, Dexion have redesigned their loads signs based on the latest release by the Storage Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) the leading UK body that represents European manufacturers.
In addition to this, the Standards Australia Committee BD-62 is in the process of reviewing the current AS 4084. However this process is still in its initial phase and it will be some time before the new code is released.
Acknowledging that rack safety is an industry-wide issue, Dexion has introduced a new suite of safety signs including Safe Working Load Signs with the following features:
Rack supplier and installation date
Distance to first beam level and subsequent levels
A caution note to the end users not to alter the rack without consulting the supplier or manufacturer
The information on the rack supplier or installer and the date of installation will provide traceability of the rack history when required. The Distance to the first beam is critical as it affects the frame capacity (the greater the distance, the less capacity it has). The information also provides a quick site verification to ensure the rack has been installed with the correct beam positions.
The caution note reminds the end user to consult the supplier or manufacturer prior to any rack alterations to ensure the system can carry the intended load and is fit-for-purpose.