Pallet racking accounts for a large percentage of accidents in warehouses across the UK.

  • Every year more than 100,000 injures are reported in the industry.
  • Most of these are caused by forklift collisions and falling objects from pallet racking.

Looking at these figures a small upright dent doesn’t seem that minor anymore, does it?

Such small damage would rarely cause collapse or anything major. Nonetheless it has to be taken care of sooner than later to ensure safety of all employees and no further damage or costs to the company. If an accident does occur and the company is found in breach of health and safety regulations, it would be facing some hefty fines. The simpler question now is – should you quickly repair the damage or replace the whole lot?

To replace or to repair pallet racking? Get a specialist

First thing you need to do – get a specialist to assess the damage. They will be able to advise if a repair is a possible solution, and if so what type of repairs can be done (see below for more info). In many cases replacement is the best solution for health and safety reasons, especially when the damage is quite significant or the equipment is outdated. Another slightly more hidden reason – the existing pallet racking system might not fit the business needs anymore, for instance in terms of load capacity. If the racks are overloaded, it can easily become the reason for damaged racks.

Repairs mean less downtime

When replacement isn’t necessary and it’s up to you to decide, repairs normally seem as a more cost-effective solution. For start, it means less disruption to normal operation of the warehouse. Repair usually requires some unloading or in some cases it can even be carried out without removing goods whatsoever. This makes the whole process more efficient and the damaged rack is back in use much faster. Repairing pallet racking is also a more environmentally-friendly option, with reduction of carbon footprint.

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Standard rack repairs – Cut it out

Most companies that offer pallet racking repairs replace the damaged fragment. An assessment is always carried out at first, allowing a trained specialist to cut this piece out and mount a new part to the existing structure. New column is stronger and more robust, giving extra protection from recurrent damage. Units that are used for repair purposes are normally customisable and available in various colours, painted or galvanised finishes to match the existing racking. In cases where warehouse location is within seismic areas, special reinforcements apply as well as seismic foot plates.

Innovative rack repairs – Apply the pressure

There are also other ways to repair damaged uprights. Rather than replacing the element you can bring it back to its original state. This can not always be possible and depends on a specialist assessment. However, if it is, the process is even more time-efficient than standard techniques. The way it works is through applying hydraulic pressure to the damaged upright, which in turn restores its shape and loading capacity. This process works in three dimensions and is very accurate. Depending on the damage, repairs can be carried out in just under half an hour. Compared with replacements or standard repairs this hugely minimised work disruption.

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