Pallet Rack Safety

June 7, 2007
Forklift damage and pallet rack damage drop when safety systems are multiplied In a warehouse or other storage facility, safety of both personnel and

Forklift damage and pallet rack damage drop when safety systems are multiplied

In a warehouse or other storage facility, safety of both personnel and material must be the paramount concern. Every year, forklift accidents account for thousands of serious injuries and dozens of deaths in industrial facilities. Additionally, tens of thousands to millions of dollars are lost in material damage from fork truck collisions with other equipment, pallet racks, and merchandise. To increase safety, facilities are instituting a powerful one-two punch with the industry's most impact-resistant pallet rack, fortified with Column Core column reinforcement, and Steel Guard guardrails.

Column Core
One vital aspect to this kind of protection is taking care of a facility's pallet racks--a hefty investment subject to considerable abuse. "Wherever there is a lot of damage to uprights, it's usually occurring because the fork truck drivers are using the uprights as guides," says Kurt Larson, Central Regional Sales Manager for Steel King, Inc. "They're bumping the uprights on the front or the sides, coming around corners, and bumping into the lower portion of the frame."

The most rugged solution to consistent rack damage available today is Steel King's SK2000 tubular boltless pallet rack--the benchmark system in the storage market--reinforced with a C-shaped column insert called the Column Core. The SK2000, with its fully welded, all tubular uprights, is already 2 1/2 times more impact resistant than its open-column, bolt-together competition. With the Column Core added it becomes a full 5 times more impact resistant at the front corners and sides where the uprights are most vulnerable.

Column Core is a factory-installed option to Steel King's SK2000 tubular, boltless pallet rack. With Column Core installed, companies retain full adjustability of their pallet storage rack beams, reduce puncturing, buckling and torsional twisting of their pallet storage rack uprights, and increased protection without any additional installation costs.

Because most forklift damage is in the lower 48 inches of rack uprights, that is where the Column Core is usually installed and where it will provide the most benefit. Column Core is sold in standard heights from 6 to 96 inches, in 6-inch increments, and custom heights are available upon request.

Steel Guard
For the protection of personnel, equipment and stored goods, installation of heavy-duty steel guardrails in facilities is essential. "Any company with any sort of industrial traffic greatly benefits from protection of personnel against forklift or other motorized traffic," says Jay Anderson, president of Steel King. "This would include a broad spectrum of operations, including warehouses, distribution centers, and manufacturing facilities."

Strength is the prime concern in the choosing and implementation of such rails, and Steel King's Steel Guard meets and exceeds requirements for most installations. The rugged specs include a 14"-high, 3-ribbed design in 11 gauge corrugated steel--the most rigid rail currently available--utilizing 3 bolts at each end for mounting on 4-inch square 1/4-inch thick heavy-duty structural steel columns which are then bolted to the floor.

The rails are customizable to needed lengths and can be single-rail or double-rail in height. In addition to the standard bolted-to-post system, an optional lift-out/drop-in rail system is available which maintains accessibility to material or equipment while providing uninterrupted protection.

Combined together, the Column-Core-reinforced SK2000 pallet rack and Steel Guard guardrails, both from Steel King, provide durable, long-lasting protection and mean substantial reduction or elimination of damage to pallet racks, stored goods, equipment, and most important of all, personnel.

For more information about this article contact Donald Heemstra at Steel King, 2700 Chamber St., Stevens Point, WI 54481 or call at 1-800-826-0203, or visit the website at