This pallet racking collapse occurred in Canberra a few years back and was investigated by Work Cover ACT.
The findings exposed that the racking system was not adequately fixed to the floor, in some instances base plates were absent, beams were missing safety clips, frames were significantly weakened from previous damage and the operators had no training in using the racking.
Fortunately in this instance no one was injured but it could have been much worse.
But this isn't always the case...
Below in excerpt from Work Safe Western Australia, warning of the dangers of pallet racking following the death of an employee after being struck by steel when racking collapsed
Safe Work SA has a Code of Practice in relation to managing the risk of plant in the workplace. Plant in the Code of Practice includes and is not limited to: machinery, equipment, appliances, containers, implements, tools, lifts, cranes, conveyors, forklifts, vehicles, power tools and even computers.
So......who has Health and Safety duties in relation to plant in the workplace?
According to the Code of Practice
A person conducting a business or undertaking has the primary duty under the WHS Act to ensure so far as reasonably practicable, that workers and other persons are not exposed to health and safety risks arising from the business or undertaking. This duty includes ensuring, so far as reasonably practicable; The provision and maintenance of safe plant and the the safe use, handling, storage and transport of plant
Further on in the Code of Practice relating to using plant in the work place
A person with management or control at a workplace must; so far as reasonably practicable, prevent unauthorized alterations to or interference with the plant, take all reasonable steps to ensure that the plant is only used for the purpose it is designed, unless a competent person has assessed that the proposed use does not increase the risk to health and safety and ensure all safety features, warning devices, guarding, operational controls, emergency stops are used in accordance with instructions and information provided
The complete Code of Practice relating to managing the risk of plant in the workplace, Work Safe guidance on pallet racking and operation and maintenance of pallet racking are downloadable in the Load signs category of our website
It’s very easy to become complacent in relation to plant in the workplace and we would like you to view pallet racking as something else besides blue frames and orange beams supporting pallets in your warehouse. Pallet racking is regarded as plant and needs to be maintained. Just one bay of racking could be easily storing up to ten thousand kilograms or more and a racking collapse or a dislodged pallet can easily result in fatality. Using the correct pallets is just as important as the racking structure itself as pallet racking in Australia is mainly designed around using Chep pallets that seat onto the racking beams.
If you are unsure of your obligations or just want to confirm that you are complying with the Code please don’t hesitate to contact us. Advice is free, unlike the cost of dealing with a devastating injury or fatality in your work place.
Not only can we inspect your racking, we can also supply and install many different types of racking systems.