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Can you Repair Warehouse Shelving to meet OSHA Code?

Can you Repair Warehouse Shelving to meet OSHA Code?

Can you Repair Warehouse Shelving to meet OSHA Code?

We have an former OSHA Auditor tour our facility to give us advice to help us keep up with OSHA standards.  One big problem we have is that we have several (40+) damaged warehouse shelving supports, (5600 lb capacity/beam_17K/rack).  Having a time-limit to correct this problem and the costs of new shelving, do I have any options to fix this situation?  And once I've corrected the problem, what are my options to maintain a safe shelving system.

Granted our current shelves/racks have been in place for quite a while, but our Forklift drivers don't necessarily "report" any damage that they might have done.  I am looking into camera systems to enhance the awareness.  Not to open a new can of worms, but we are trying to implement more lean manufacturing which would say, get rid of the shelves, but we have some product lines that make this situation infeasible.  Where do I start?  

Thank you,


RE: Can you Repair Warehouse Shelving to meet OSHA Code?

Unfortunately when it comes to repairing shelving, you have very few options that meet legal requrements.  Any time you repair or modify a manufactured shelving system, you must have the manufacturer's signoff, or have a professional engineer certify the changes to meet or exceed the OEM specs.  I don't know about other PE's but there usually no way in hell that I would ever sign off on someone's modifications to a shelving system.  I would fully recommend that you replace the damaged shelves, although it is going to be a costly venture.  Either that, or dismantle your current racks and piece together good parts, as long as they are all from the same manufacturer.  You can't mix and match pieces from different companies unless they are specifically designed to do so.  Good Luck

RE: Can you Repair Warehouse Shelving to meet OSHA Code?

safetydan, I was afraid of this response, but respect how true it is...special thanks to not mixing rack suppliers; that I will need to reemphasize to my personnel.

Does anyone have any advice on protecting the new racks?  I've scene Steel re-enforced guards dismantled, I've verified all forklift drivers have been trained within the last year, as well as threatened cameras; where should I start or re-emphasize?  I just want to put a plan in place to hopefully prevent replacing these racks in the future.  Our last racks haven't been manufactured for years, so replacing a few dismantled ones was out of the question.  We started buying a new "Tear Drop" support.  

Thank you,


RE: Can you Repair Warehouse Shelving to meet OSHA Code?


In terms of protecting your warehouse shelving, I've seen and used various options.  Most options that work involve core drilling into your concrete pad and sinking a pipe filled with concrete (bullard) into the hole.  You can do different things depending on the shelving area you are trying to protect.  If you are trying to protect an area that is not in front of a pick location you sink two or more bullards and weld "C" Channel between the pipes.  If you are in a pick location you sink the pipe directly in front of the column supports and allow room to get between the columns for picking.  The key is that you need to sink the support into the concrete.  Any solution I've seen that tries to anchor into the concrete and has a plate on the surface, ends up being sheared off over time.  Hope this helps.



Richard Nornhold, PE

RE: Can you Repair Warehouse Shelving to meet OSHA Code?

I completely agree with Rich.  Simply bolting posts into your concrete will last for all of a month.  The best ways to protect your investment is to core drill and place bullards.  I have them installed at all outside corners and ends of aisleways.  The very best protection is having competent forklift operators who know how to not damage equipment.

RE: Can you Repair Warehouse Shelving to meet OSHA Code?

If you are truly implementing lean you will have plenty of extra racks to replace your damaged racks. Lean will take time to implement so in the short term replace your damaged racks. The biggest problem I have seen lately with lean is having an overseas supplier. You will have to have buffer inventory to protect yourself from shipping/importing delays. The buffers will be usually between 1-3 months of material. These buffers may not be in your plant but at some other warehouse but you will still be paying for these inventories in the part price.

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