Friday, February 24, 2017

What goes up?

Remember the story of Isaac Newton and the apple? A young Newton is sitting beneath an apple tree when suddenly an apple falls and hits him on the head. Eureka! Gravity – the force of attraction by which terrestrial bodies tend to fall toward the center of the earth (per the dictionary, anyway.) What goes up must come down! Well, hopefully not always; especially in the case of warehouse safety.

All this leads me to today’s topic – warehouse safety. Nice transition, huh? I know it’s not the usual blog topic for the week, but it’s important, especially to all those working in a warehouse or manufacturing environment. And with a reported number of almost 600,000 warehouses in the United States, it’s very important. It’s top of mind because I presented a webinar last week on Pallet Rack Systems; how to know if they are safe, what to look for in an inspection, the things that make them unsafe and what happens when they fail. It’s scary.

Seriously, have you ever seen a rack system collapse? It’s brutal. When a system fails, the collapse is instantaneous; no time to recover once the chain of events has started. Rack failures create serious situations that can result in serious injury or worse, expensive product damage, equipment damage and lost productivity.

There are a lot of reasons a rack system fails - overloading, poor assembly or installation, lack of maintenance, hits from forklifts or lack of collision protection. The big question is how would you know if a rack system had been compromised? Answer? Routine rack inspections. Trained personnel should regularly inspect racks for any type of damage. Keep in mind – unsafe conditions are not always obvious.

We go to work every day expecting not to be injured. We expect a hazard free, safe working environment. It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that this is the case. It’s important that we value safe work practices and safety programs and are proactive in our efforts to keep everyone safe.


Posted by MJ Thomas

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