Racking systems are the skeleton of any warehouse, keeping the space organised and workflow smooth. It is essential to keep racking in good condition and ensure that it is utilised correctly and effectively. To this end, regular visual inspections are required – and they need to be done using a warehouse racking inspection checklist.
Too many warehouse managers and staff supervisors perform the inspections without a checklist – or with one that is inadequate. While we all tend to want to avoid forms and bureaucracy, this is one area where we cannot get away without doing at least some paperwork.
There are usually a lot of racks to examine, and a lot of points to cover in the inspection, and without a checklist, you could easily miss some of them. This could in turn compromise safety, or cause issues with legal health and safety compliance. Warehouse inspection checklists keep everything nice and organised and are easy to file and action. Trust me – they can help keep your warehouse functioning smoothly and seamlessly.
There are many different types of warehouse racking inspection checklists – there isn’t a “perfect” one. You can download samples off the internet, but I find it is best to customise one to suit the needs of your warehouse. Checklists can be as simple or complex as you like – I opt for something a bit more detailed, so that the inspections are as comprehensive as possible.
Checklists should include, at the very least, columns to assess the following: the condition of the racking posts, beams, plates, shims, uprights, fixings, guards, braces, floor anchors and other structural components. They should also have columns to check the distribution of loads – whether this is uneven or acceptable, and the positioning of loads – whether this is appropriate and efficient or not. Other considerations are safe load limits(and whether notices of these have been posted), lighting above the racking, and general housekeeping (for example, regarding rubbish storage and disposal).
On the inspection checklist, all damage needs to be marked – splits, cracks, missing slats, sagging, bulging, leaning, poor stacking of stock, and any other issues. The level of risk for this damage can be assessed on the checklist too – for example, using a colour-coded system of green (low risk) through red (high risk). Actions to be taken can be indicated. There should be space for notes. All warehouse racking inspection checklists should be collected, checked and stored carefully.
The inspection itself must only be done by a staff member who has undergone the necessary training. They need to record their name and the date on the checklist. Depending on the size and activity of the warehouse, inspections by trained staff may be necessary on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. In addition, a full inspection should be carried out once a year by an official inspector.
A rack collapse can cost warehouse operators substantial amounts of money in workers’ compensation, the replacement of goods, fines, and other liabilities. Using a thorough warehouse racking inspection checklist can help keep the workspace safe and its functioning smooth.