The Importance of Racking Safety and Compliance

When buying pallet racking, it is essential that you make sure the rack system is not only designed to the relevant Australian standard, but is also installed and operated in accordance with the standard.

Author: Dr Murray Clarke, Structural Engineering Manager, Dematic.

Installing the right warehouse storage solution means delivering on employee safety and complying with Australian standards.

Pallet racking in Australia is covered under the Australian Standard AS 4084 Steel Storage Racking. This standard deals not only with design but also covers racking installation and operation. When buying pallet racking, it is essential that you make sure the rack system is not only designed to the standard, but is installed to the standard and is operated in accordance with the standard.

To comply with Australian work safety laws, all industrial storage systems are also required to be inspected by a qualified professional every 12 months, and have certified safety signage to indicate the maximum unit load rating for each shelf level.

These safety and compliance factors need to be considered early in the planning and design phases. By installing the right storage solution in your facility first time, that delivers on employee safety and compliance over the long term, you will be protecting your investment well into the future.

Thorough storage solution design

A storage solution professional requires knowledge of local safety and compliance standards, as well as accurate information regarding load dimensions and weights, to design the best fit solution for your requirements.

Any pallet racking used in the workplace should be designed specifically for the size, shape, and weight of the products being stored. It is also important that all racking is set up and maintained according to the manufacturers’ instructions.

The layout of racking should be compatible with the material handling equipment used in the workplace. For instance, aisle width should match the turning circle of the forklift used for picking and replenishment.

The layout should also consider emergency access, adequate lighting and any manual handling activities.

Colby RackMan Certification

The structural integrity of ColbyRACK is ensured through our RackMan program, a proprietary software tool developed in-house by Colby Storage Solutions and Dematic’s world-renowned structural engineers.

RackMan certification is the ColbyRACK product performance badge of excellence, and means that your system will always meet and often exceed the safety standards inherent in AS 4084. Through the automated generation of RackMan certification letters, customised to a particular racking configuration, we can guarantee the load capacity and strength of ColbyRACK.

Colby RackMan can be relied upon to produce rack designs that are safe, thereby protecting your staff and products giving you peace of mind, and helping you fulfil your Duty of Care responsibilities.

The safe racking designs confirmed by Colby RackMan are recorded on safe load signs attached to all ColbyRACK installations.

Due to Dematic’s comprehensive OHS system, ColbyRACK is also accredited to the AS/NZS 4801 Occupational health and management system standards specification and the OHSAS 18001 Occupational health and safety management system specification. 

Annual inspections

Under the Australian Standard AS4084 2012, it is mandatory for all businesses to have their racking inspected at least once every 12 months, regardless of size, working loads or traffic.

These audits look at a range of potential problem areas such as whether beams are overloaded, damaged or missing parts, whether anchor bolts are missing or loose, whether load signs are legible, whether uprights and footplates are damaged, whether the racking is vertical, and whether braces are damaged.

Colby Storage Solutions can assist with these regular racking health checks by auditing and inspecting your system. Colby will make recommendations for any damage repairs, helping you ensure compliance and safety for your employees.

Consult the experts

Colby engineers are experts on racking standards and are always available to discuss your individual racking needs or any questions you might have about the application of standards. If you have any questions please get in touch today.

  • The article was originally published on 25 March 2018
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