Urgent Safety Warning: Moving Pallet Racking Beams Compromises Load Capacity

moving pallet racking beams

Did you know that by moving pallet racking beams you could be reducing your load capacity by as much as 80%?

During a recent site survey we identified that the bottom brace of a system we had installed had been removed to allow other non-palletised items to be stored.

The client was horrified to find out that we had to down grade the load capacity of the entire run of racking just by moving pallet racking beams – an innocent action which had a major effect on the safety of the system.

Moving beam heights to accommodate new products or facilitate new storage configurations is common place in many warehouses up and down the country, however very few people are aware of the impact that even small changes can have on load capacities.

Consulting the design guidelines and it is clearly stated that a beam pitch of 600mm in standard medium duty system with multiple racking bays will offer a maximum frame load of 8618kg. Raise this beam pitch to 3750mm and the maximum load capacity is reduced to just 1760kg.

Clearly this is a fairly radical change in beam pitch but even when you raise the beam pitch from 600mm to 2400mm for example to facilitate a door way, the maximum load capacity is reduced to 4044kg – which is some 50%.

The problems are compounded when the lowest beams are removed completely and the operators expect to be able to store the same materials on the beam above.

The figures are staggering but it’s all down to the laws of physics and the impact that the load has on the upright.

The promotion of easy clip racking systems may be partly to blame for the problem however it is vital that every company consults with the original designer of the racking system to check the impact of any proposed change in configuration.

One solution is to ensure that effective racking signage is clearly displayed to show the maximum load levels of each racking bay, however these must be updated with every change.

So, before you contemplate making what you believe to be a minor change to your racking system, a simple phone call to the original installer will ensure you protect yourself, your employees and the future of your company.

If you have already carried out minor changes, it is vital that you contact your supplier today to check on potential implications. If you are unsure about the original manufacturer or the installer is no longer in business, we also offer a free racking identification service.

Alternatively call us on 01236 453888 and we will be happy to discuss any issue.

Click here to find out why racking inspections are so critical

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