Woman in polo auditing a warehouseAny change in the warehouse necessitates a corresponding adjustment on overall warehouse operations. Whether the warehouse is transitioning to different products or increasing its number of operators, any minor change needs to be taken into account. However, finding time to record these changes and implement solutions can be difficult, especially for warehouses that are consistently busy. Sticking to the original operational plan is often seen as more convenient compared to making adjustments on the fly.

Pallets are a major component of warehouse operations. Managers can find it difficult to track their location and condition during their day-to-day use. Undergoing a pallet racking inspection then helps put their warehouse on the right track. Warehouse operators can come up with feasible responses that will improve safety, reduce damage and save costs of the facility.

Benefits of a Warehouse Audit

Increased Efficiency

The data compiled from warehouse audits can help measure whether the warehouse is reaching its ideal performance level. Audits can help provide solutions for frequent and recurring. These modifications can involve minor changes like increasing the aisle for enhanced forklift mobility.

Enhanced Safety

Warehouse safety audits and inspections focus on the storage equipment, structural integrity and general working environment in the facility. The audit helps ensure that all mechanisms in the warehouse are functioning, thereby reducing the chances of technical failure that can lead to worker injuries. They can also make recommendations regarding maintenance, repair and replacement for warehouse equipment. Observing high safety standards can give your warehouse’s reputation a boost, helping attract more employees and business partners.

Legal Compliance

Independent licensed auditors check whether the warehouse is complying with NZ regulatory standards. Warehouses that put their employees in harm’s way because of non-compliance to regulations can suffer financial losses in the form of reparations and lawsuits. The proper documentation resulting from audits can help companies when processing warranty claims for injuries and other similar circumstances. This inspection also includes additional safety standards like precautionary measures on seismic conditions. Overall, legal compliance ensures that operations are running safely and efficiently, with the health and well-being of the workers in mind.

General Conditions of Wooden Pallets

Pallets are typically made of softwoods including pine, although they are available in hardwood such as oak and from composite wood. The range of pallets available in NZ includes the two way and four way pallet, and block pallet. Variations on these basic types are for the transfer of specific goods including fruit and vegetables such as onions, kiwifruit, and apples; pallets are also designed for the transport of paper products and steel sheets. As a guide, pallets should not be stored outside unless protected from the weather in a well-drained area and covered. They must be protected from pests, both with timber treatment and being kept in areas that are insect and rodent free. Racking systems are used for safe and efficient storage of palleted goods. The racking system used must comply with NZ safety standards to prevent injury to staff and damage to stock.

What is a Pallet Racking Inspection?

A pallet racking inspection is required to comply with government legislation aimed at reducing the risk of injury to warehouse staff, particularly during an earthquake. Worksafe NZ requires bulk storage facilities and retail stores to incorporate restraints on stored goods to counter seismic activity (NZS4104). The racking systems are also required to comply with NZS 1170.5 for structural design for earthquakes, NZS 3404.1 for steel structures and NZS 4219 for the seismic performance of engineering systems in buildings.

The general rule is that shelving and racking systems for storage must be able to withstand the tremors of an earthquake. Stock kept above 1.2 metres or over 5kg require restraints to prevent risks of toppling over. All palleted goods need restraints in areas frequented by staff, with any broken pallets discarded. Shrink wrapping must hold the pallet and the goods together, the maximum height of the goods must not exceed twice the size of the base. Heavy items cannot be stored near to building exits due to the risk of blocking evacuation routes during an earthquake.

What to Look for in a Pallet Inspection

When inspecting pallet racking, what is the rated capacity of the system? The information should be visible to warehouse operators so they do not overload the racks, and so the specified clearance between items is met. Check the racks vertical poles are plumb and not leaning or buckling, with base plates anchored into the ground. Any shims used for levelling the surface are in full contact with the base plate. Loads should be stacked in a secure manner in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions, with palleted goods either shrink wrapped or banded.

Other considerations during a racking system inspection include the overall condition of the rack and pallets, and other conditions that affect the safety and efficiency of the storage system – such as freedom from debris and compliance with local fire codes if storing hazardous substances.

In most cases, a regular pallet racking inspection is recommended every year. Feedback from the inspections will help you to determine bottlenecks and problems in storage and distribution. With the analysis, you can adjust the management of storage safety and system maintenance as a wider part of warehouse strategy.

Storage System Solutions in New Zealand

At Shelving Shop Group, we provide fast and non-disruptive pallet racking inspections. We help companies have a proactive approach to maintenance as well as meet local and international safety requirements.

We also provide high-performance warehouse pallet racking systems, display shelving, bulk storage and shop fitting solutions for a wide range of clients from different sectors. For over 25 years, we have provided storage system solutions for industry leaders in retail, storage and food manufacturing. Shelving Shop Group has three primary branches that specialise in storage, accessories and fit-outs: Shelving Shop, RMS and ShopFitNZ. Our track record of success is based on finding the best storage and fit-out solution for your business, meeting your challenges to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of your workspace.

Invest in innovative storage now. Call us on 0800 180 280 or leave us a message.