Material handling 101 – Putting Together a Rack

Material Handling - Rack
Material Handling - Rack

Racks are an essential part of your warehouse space, so putting together a rack safely and effectively will allow you to gain a great deal of usable space. Like any material handling, this should be approached carefully and methodically to ensure safety and stability.

Different manufacturers of the various rack systems will give you step-by-step installation instructions, and those instructions must be followed to the letter, otherwise your rack may not be stable. The following are some basic guidelines for the safe installation of a rack system:

  • Familiarize yourself with all recommended procedures and assembly specifications before starting. If special training is required, then do not attempt this on your own.
  • Ensure there is adequate spacing between the aisles of your racks for material handling – this includes palettes, a forklift, pallet jacks etc.
  • Make sure that sufficient lighting is present in every aisle of your rack system – dark aisles are a safety hazard
  • Do not alter any of the rack system components in any way – they are designed for a purpose, so modifying them should never be done for any reason
  • During installation keep proper safety supplies and safety equipment on hand in case any injury should occur
  • It is essential that you do not climb the racks either during assembly or once they are installed – a storage rack system is meant for products. They are not meant for walking on or climbing, and doing so can result in injuries or fatalities
  • If you have to stop during the installation of the rack system, ensure that the area is cordoned off and clearly labeled not to be used. Your rack system should only be accessed once it is securely in place
  • Ensure that enough workers are present during installation to cover all the work required – a single worker acting alone is at greater risk of injury
  • Always wear proper safety equipment including safety glasses, steel toed boots, safety gloves, and hardhats
  • Once the installation is complete, it should be checked thoroughly to make sure that the entire rack system is level, square and plumb, and that all uprights are anchored  to a proper concrete floor
  • To ensure safety and stability of the rack system, performing regular maintenance and inspection on an ongoing basis is essential

Once you have your rack system installed, you will be able to use it for all your inventory needs, material handling with a lift truck, a pallet jack or by hand, and keep your products and packaging well organized and easy to find.  Following these basic installation steps will ensure a safe and stable rack system.

About the Author
Bahrns Equipment specializes in industrial equipment for industrial needs, such as forklifts, packaging and material handling. Visit the company online at to learn more about what they offer, and see how they can become your industrial supplier of choice.

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