Maintaining an inventory of products is essential to the success of many manufacturing plants. Storing excess inventory can be tricky, and most companies rely on a pallet racking system to keep their inventory organized. These storage shelves can pose a hazard to employees, so it’s important that you keep safety in mind when working with pallet racking in the future.

Here are three safety tips you and your employees should be mindful of to prevent workplace injuries while working with pallet shelving.

1. Place pallets properly on the shelf.

Pallet racking safety begins when pallets filled with excess inventory are placed onto the shelving system. The way in which these pallets are loaded onto the shelves can directly impact the safety of the racking system in the future.

Be sure that your forklift operators are taking the time to square each pallet when placing it on a shelf. This will help to prevent an uneven distribution of weight that could result in a falling pallet or failed shelf with the potential to cause serious injury.

2. Reinforce the corners of your racking system.

The corners of your pallet racking system are exposed to many dangers in an industrial warehouse. Employees could accidentally make contact with exterior corners while operating a forklift or truck, and this contact could bend the steel frame of your pallet shelving.

By reinforcing any corners that will be exposed to open aisles with heavy-duty steel guardrails, you will be able to reduce the amount of potential structural damage your racking system sustains. Preventing damaged corners will help keep your pallet shelving strong, while failure to do so could lead to a serious injury caused by a pallet racking’s structural failure.

3. Inspect joints for structural weakness regularly.

Pallet racking systems typically feature a large steel structure with many welded joints. These joints can pose a safety risk when they begin to fail. You should be regularly inspecting welded joints for signs of damage.

Be looking for cracks or bends in the joints. Spotting these problems, and correcting them as quickly as possible, will prevent weak joints from causing your pallet shelving from becoming a potential hazard in your warehouse.

Safety should always be a top priority when working around pallet racking systems. Proper pallet placement, reinforcement of exposed corners, and regular joint inspection will help you keep your pallet shelving from becoming a safety hazard in the future.