If you manage a successful business, you might be more worried about entertaining potential investors and planning the office holiday party than you are about material handling equipment like pallet racking. However, pallet racking isn't just a luxury that will make things easier for your receiving department—it might also help you to stay out of financial trouble. Here are two reasons every business owner should invest in pallet racking, and what might happen if you don't:
1: To Avoid Potential OSHA Fines
As soon as you realize that pallet racking systems typically cost between $50 and $400 per pallet position, you might start shying away from the idea of creating a special place for those wooden platforms. After all, since you might have to install racks in several places to maintain workflow, your warehouse upgrade might turn into a very real expense that you have to explain to your accounting team. Although it might seem like a difficult cost to justify, the expense of installing industrial-grade pallet racking pales in comparison to the expenses you might have to deal with if you leave those wooden frames laying all over the floor.
Every business owner should know that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, commonly referred to as OSHA, sets strict housekeeping standards for maintaining backroom and storage areas. In fact, standard number 1910.22 says that all storerooms and workplace areas need to be clean and orderly, in addition to being free of safety hazards such as exposed nails, splinters, and loose boards. Unfortunately, since wooden pallets take a lot of abuse as they are loaded onto trucks and dropped to the floor, your once-pristine pallets might contain all of these hazards after only a few uses. Because pallets can also pose a trip and fall hazard, OSHA also requires business owners to store them in an orderly manner, preferably in a way that they won't tip over.
Although you might not worry too much about bending the rules a little, a single OSHA violation could run your business into the ground. In fact, violation fines range from a measly $50 to a staggering $70,000—depending on the nature of the violation. If you store pallets improperly and an employee is seriously injured because of the infraction, you might find yourself struggling to make payroll because of your mistake.
Fortunately, industrial pallet racking is designed with OSHA regulations in mind. Pallet racking systems are created to be stable, easy to use, and strong enough to hold heavy pallets safely. These racks can be bolted to structural beams or even the exterior of your building, giving your employees and easy—and safe way—to load and unload products.
2: To Reduce Damage and Theft
Believe it or not, OSHA fines aren't the only expense you might come across if you don't invest in pallet racking for your warehouse. When pallets are stashed away neatly, they can also help you to avoid these losses:
- Damaged Products: If your backroom is cramped, your employees might find themselves trying to navigate a pallet jack through a tight aisle, or move a heavy load to an upper storage shelf with a forklift. Unfortunately, if your workers run into other products or drop a load during a difficult transition, it might damage all kinds of unsold merchandise. Fortunately, because pallet racks can help you to keep your warehouse clean and organized, your workers might have more space to move, wrap, and store important items.
- Stolen Pallets: Old wooden pallets can be sold to recycling centers or reused for a litany of craft projects, which is why some of yours might go missing from time to time. However, if you install pallet racking systems indoors, your workers can quickly and easily store unused pallets—instead of leaving them outside, where they might be stolen.
By investing in a pallet racking system, you might be able to keep your backroom clean, safe, and cost-efficient.