Should Pallet Racks Be Bolted to the Floor?

When working in warehouses, safety is, of course, a paramount concern. Bolting pallet racks are one way to improve warehouse safety for all workers.

What Is Pallet Racking?

Since their patent in the 1940s, warehouse pallet racking has been used in the industrial sector to maximize storage space and improve product selectivity. Today, it is the most popular system used in warehouses and other facilities.

There are many forms of pallet racking, suitable for different areas of industry. For example, the popular selective pallet racking works best for businesses who are interested in maximizing their storage space. A more specialized option, drive-in racks, is used by companies that deal primarily with non-perishable items, or low-volume items. There’s a form of warehouse pallet racking systems that are a perfect fit for every business looking to improve its efficiency and storage capabilities.

Pallet Rack Safety

Before you build your pallet racks, however, it is essential to consider safety measures to ensure workers’ well-being. When installing new shelving, buy additional safety accessories to prevent damage during shelving and subsequent use. When installing pallet racks, you must address several potential safety concerns to minimize hazard and protect your business.

The first concerns are warehouse layout where the company needs its industrial shelving. Considering the type of inventory stocked, fulfillment rates, turnover, and other relevant factors are important when gauging safety accessory needs. Safety guard rails are a popular choice for protection against layout-related accidents.

Another concern to consider before construction is the protection of the pallet rack’s upright posts. You can accomplish this with several accessories designed to protect these weight-bearing columns from collision damage.

There are many other safety options available, such as safety bars, backstop beams, rub rails, guide angles, et cetera. However, there is one safety accessory you should never neglect: Floor bolts.

Why Bolt The Pallet Racking To The Floor?

First and foremost, the Rack Manufacturers’ Institute (RMI) clearly specifies in its American National Standards that all columns of pallet racks should be anchored and secured to the floor with bolts. The RMI Standards also state that in addition to the bolts, a base plate (sometimes referred to as a foot plate) is necessary as well. Simply put, it is best practice to comply with the Standards.

The RMI put these regulations and specifications into their Standards to make sure pallet racks do not collapse. These bolts are in place for multiple reasons.

First, in a natural disaster such as seismic activity (e.g. earthquake or tornado), floor bolts and base plates will keep pallet racks sturdy and standing, even if there are other damages to building housing pallet racks.

Second, these plates and bolts are secured to ensure pallet racks will also stay standing in case of a forceful man-made impact, such as a forklift colliding with a pallet rack column.

These precautions are necessary for both the safety of the merchandise housed within the pallet racks and the safety of any people who might be present if one of these events occurs.

It is essential to consult with your rack manufacturer or professional engineer who can help you determine the amount and size of bolts necessary for your pallet racking, as well as determine specifics about the holes in the base plates. In addition, you must take special care when installing anchor bolts and plates near slab expansion joints and when replacing damaged anchor bolts to ensure safety for all involved.

Anchor bolts and base plates are necessary to install pallet racking and keep workers, your goods, and your business safe from harm.