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Proper Maintenance and Training can Help Avoid Rack Collapses in the Distribution Center or Warehouse

Costly and dangerous, rack collapses in the warehouse or distribution center can be avoided with proper training and maintenance.

(Boonton, NJ, November 22, 2011) — If your storage racks are dented and dinged from repeated abuse, you might want to search YouTube for the phrase "storage rack collapse."

The videos you'll find show worst-case scenarios: A forklift hits a rack, and within a few seconds racks are toppling and boxes are everywhere. "It's just like dominoes," says Don Kelly of Diversified Rack & Shelving. "You could lose your entire warehouse."

Thankfully, these massive meltdowns are rare. A more typical rack collapse is isolated to a small part of the warehouse. But the costs of any rack failure can be steep. Lost inventory, missed orders, and damaged forklifts are likely. And if workers are killed or injured, the costs can soar, says Chris Curtis of Storage Rack Repair.

So how do you keep your racks safe? Kelly, Curtis, and Anne Russell of Steel King offer advice in the November issue of Distribution Center Management newsletter.

The place to start, is with routine maintenance. Managers tend to forget to maintain their storage racks. Unlike forklifts and conveyors, storage racks have no moving parts, so there's no need for maintenance, right? Wrong, says Curtis.

Conduct regular inspections of not just the racks but also the floors. Cracks in concrete floors around the anchors can lead to collapse.

The full article and maintenance tips appear in the November issue of Distribution Center Management newsletter.

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For more than 40 years, Distribution Group publications have helped distribution center and warehouse managers increase productivity, cut costs, and meet increasing customer demands. Distribution Group publishes Distribution Center Management newsletter, books and reports, and a free e-newsletter.

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