The recently introduced Australian Standard AS4084-2012 covering the design of steel storage racking systems incorporates several key changes to operational requirements and end-user responsibilities.
Key changes in Australian Standard AS4084-2012:
- No changes to storage system configuration allowed without the approval of the equipment supplier or a structural engineer
- Vertical clearance requirement for pallets stored above heights of 6m has been increased from 75mm to 100mm to reduce the risk of accidental impact with beams during pallet handling
- Flue space between pallets backing on to each other has been increased by 50mm, reducing the risk of an adjacent pallet being accidentally dislodged when storing or retrieving pallets, while also meeting the needs of insurance companies
- Minimum of two ground anchors must be used per baseplate on racks where forklifts are used
- Minor changes to rack load signage whereby the dimension from ground to first beam level, and from first to second beam level must be noted explicitly on signs
As per the previous 1993 standard, storage system users must have their system professionally audited every year. Regular system audits help identify existing rack damage that could compromise performance during incidents such as a seismic event or overloading of the structure.
Failure to conduct annual audits could expose users to litigation and potential penalties in the event of an incident.
When it comes to day-to-day operation, storage system users are responsible for ensuring the systems are properly used and maintained, and continue to meet the standard.
What AS4084-2012 doesn’t cover
The new steel storage racking standard is only relevant for closed-face racks such as selective, narrow-aisle and double deep racking, and does not cover open-face racks such as drive-in or cantilever racking.
Designers of open-face racks are advised to refer to international standards and codes such as FEM 10.2.07 for drive-in racking and FEM 10.2.09 for cantilever racking, which can be used in conjunction with AS/NZS4600-2005 Cold Formed Steel Structures to obtain structurally sound racking designs consistent with world’s best practice.
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