There are many reasons to inspect your pallet racks often,
But, the first category is straight up safety.
If you want your employees to be safe, and if you want to make sure that there is not a "The sky is falling" potential hazard that could kill someone, you need a professional inspection. It does not happen very often, but in extreme cases, rambunctious and fun-loving forklift operators have caused fatalities (not to mention enormous inventory loss). Make sure you're proactive about this, raise the awareness and ensure your racks are in perfect order to be safe.
Another reason to do pallet rack inspections is to protect the investment of your products. If you do not maintain your rack and you have a failure, you could lose tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of dollars in product. You will be very lucky if it does not cost you a customer because you’ll have to sort through that mess to get to the good product (if there is any left) in order to get their order shipped to them.
The third reason to do pallet rack safety inspections is to protect yourself from getting your insurance dropped. If you should have a catastrophic pallet rack failure, and you end up with massive damage and losses, chances are good that you will be having a serious conversation with your insurance provider at renewal time, with either a drop of your policy, a large increase in monthly fees or a huge deductible increase.
It is imperative that you raise the awareness of your employees about how a small damaged area can significantly reduce the carrying capacity of your pallet rack. The more educated eyes you have looking for critical damage, the more likely you are to catch it and repair it before causes a catastrophic event.
Another important reason to do pallet rack safety inspections is to increase the morale of your staff. The more that people know that you are paying attention to them, their productivity will go up.
There was a story once about a factory where management was wondering if the lighting was bright enough for employees to be able to do quality work. They decided to increase the lighting in the area and productivity went up. Over time they looked at the cost of the electrical and then they decided to turn the lighting down in the summer. The employees thought it was because of an effort to try to keep them cool and so productivity went up again. Then when it got to be November they decided to turn the lighting back up and told the employees it was to make the people feel warmer and once again, productivity went up.
Essentially the research from this situation showed that the employees were being shown attention and as management paid attention to them their productivity would increase. If people feel like they are working in a safer environment and they believe their employer cares about them, they will feel like being more productive.
Fulfilling your OSHA obligation to provide a safe workplace for your staff is another reason to do pallet rack safety inspections. . If you do have a catastrophic failure, whether it is because of poor maintenance or whether it is because of a forklift driver that was out of control…if you cannot show an effort to maintain the pallet rack safety in your environment, you will not be able to prove that you were providing a safe workplace intentionally, and OSHA will come down hard on you.
By maintaining a rack safety inspection program you can see if you have damage in the same areas, on a repeat basis. If so, you can either install guarding or change the configuration of your rack, and/or your travel aisles in the facility to eliminate or reduce the damage.
This also will become obvious that you don’t have enough lift-off space for your operators, if they continuously raise the loads into the next level, causing the load above to be damaged.
And finally, you need to do pallet rack safety inspections to see if you have need for a forklift driver retraining. There are many little tricks that good operators develop instinctively overtime that unseasoned operators are not automatically going to know. If you look at every opportunity as an educational event, you can make a good thing out of an unfortunate situation.
Keeping your pallet racks inspected on a continuous basis will avoid all these catastrophes and problems. It will allow you to feel confident in knowing that your racks are safe, secure and sturdy!