• James
    Hi all, I have had a question raised by one of the project managers regarding having a walkway along the front of storage racks.

    I have three concerns with it, and cannot find any guidance.
    1) Vehicle impact when they load the rack with the forkhoist (upper rack level is 3.6m). Their ‘control’ for that is primarily the driver seeing the peds and vice versa.
    2) Objects falling from the racks. The control would be securing the loads (strap and/or wrap) before racking, however, that doesn’t happen current so is unlikely to happen consistently going forward.
    3) Objects being placed in walkways. This is the issues they are trying to solve by moving the walkway. It will likely still occur as the walkway is in front of the racks so its highly likely to have something placed in-front.
    My alternative solution is to move the racks off the wall 1100mm, fit rack backing, and make the walkway between the wall and rack. This also improves the crossings by roller doors as we can fit inwards gates to slow people down.

    Without knowing the details, does the rational of the hazards and risk sound reasonable? Is there any decent guidance or standards that would be useful (I’ve checked Worksafe, AS 1657, and ISO 14144 with no real guidance on FOPS)
  • E Baxter
    My question would be regarding the potential for the forlift to hit the racking & it collapse into the walkway. Would it be practiable to close the walkway when forklifts are in use?
  • Stephen Small
    You might want to have a look at Worksafe's:
    Good Practice Guide: Managing Work Site Traffic Feb 2021. There is a section on seperating walkways and forklifts and other lifting/reaching plant.
    Guide to Working safely with pallet racking systems April 2021.

    Your thoughts on remedial actions are in line with thier guidance.
    I would give more thought to item #2 = why is it not reasonable practical to use pallet wrap or stap down items on pallets?
  • James
    That's a concern also, we have impact barriers on the areas where it's likely the forklift will hit (corners, opposite aisles, vehicle doors, etc). The site space and layout limitations mean it's difficult to separate without a significant layout change which is unlikely to happen at this stage.
  • James
    I didn't find that one, I'll check it out.

    I agree 100% that strapping and wrapping the pallets would be the best solution however it's difficult to change the site culture on a dime. I'm arranging a pallet wrapper/strapper for the site to use and working with the supervisors to change the team process. I expect it to take ~12 months before we see a culture change.
  • Andrew P
    We have a similar type of issue. we are considering changing the bottom of our racking into a walkway with racking (needs to be solid shelves) over the top.

    Re Culture change. Ouch how do you change anything in that type of environment.
    In my opinion if something impacts on safety, raise it a team meeting, bring it up individually with staff directly involved ie forklift drivers loading that racking, and then if someone loads into the racking with an unwrapped pallet it is goes straight to a discipline process.

    RE objects in a walkway, management needs to work out why and then fix it.

    Go watch some video on warehouse management from Fast Cap :wink:
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