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How to prevent Shelving Accidents in the Warehouse

Industrial shelving is made to be tough – as industrial shelving manufacturers, we know that it’s common to store extremely heavy weights in large amounts in your average industrial warehouse or commercial storage space.

Whether its bins, boxes or oddly shaped merchandise, every time an employee loads, offloads, or picks from your shelves, you’re running the risk of falling merchandise or a complete collapse. A falling shelf or load is not only a danger to employees and the merchandise itself – due to the fact that shelves are almost always arranged in rows, you could fall victim to the dreaded domino effect, causing one collapse to become many collapses in a matter of seconds.

What precautions can you take to avoid collapses?

  • Give your merchandise some space. Storing too many items on a shelf is one of the fastest ways to ensure something falls off. Storing products against one another causes friction between their edges when one is pulled out, potentially causing others to slide out with it. Giving your merchandise enough space to avoid this may take up more shelving and floor space, but it will help avoid potentially costly accidents.
  • Place popular items in the “Golden Zone”. Merchandising and logistics professionals usually store their most popular and fast moving items at easy-to-reach eye level position. This means that employees don’t need to reach and stretch as much, and helps to avoid picking accidents.
  • Make sure the outside face of mezzanine shelving. If Employees are packing stock into elevated shelving, it is easy for them to accidentally push stock out the other side, potentially damaging merchandise or injuring another employee. By installing a guard rail or using closed-back shelving, these dangers can easily be avoided.
  • Store heavy items lower down. In terms of stability and balance, storing heavy items high up on a shelf is a disaster waiting to happen. Storing the heaviest items on the lowest shelves not only makes it easier to move the merchandise, it also lowers the possibility of the shelf falling over when bumped, or due to an unbalanced load.

Krost Shelving industrial shelving manufacturers collapse

Image Credit: bristol-storage.co.uk

Protecting shelves from Impact

By far the most common cause of collapse (if the shelf is assembled to manufacturer specifications and is not overloaded), is due to impact from forklifts and pallet jacks. Just a small dent in one of the lower upright supports might not seem like much of a problem, but they seriously lessen the load-limit of the shelving as well as throw the shelf off balance, making a collapse all the more likely. To protect your shelves, install bollards, guard rails or other barriers to avoid forklifts and pallet jacks coming into contact with the uprights of your racking and shelving.


Main Image Credit: wisegeek.com