Pallet Rack Safety in Seismic Zones
In recent years, a trend has swept the warehousing and distribution center industry: an emphasis on efficient use of space. In years past, warehouses and distribution centers were known for their massive sprawl, often in remote, out of the way areas where they could take up lots of space. However, with the advent of next-day or even same-day shipping, many warehouses and distribution centers were forced to be built in major cities, while still maintaining a massive inventory of items ready to be shipped. This created a logistical situation where the large space that had previously been afforded to these warehouses was no longer available. Unable to build out, companies began to build up to take advantage of overhead space, often in seismic zones. It then became necessary to analyze your building’s foundation and ensure your pallet rack safety, especially in these seismic zones.
As space became denser, however, it became more difficult to safely build these structures, especially in areas with large seismic-activity. Because pallet rack can be used to store heavy items, any seismic activity could have disastrous consequences. Aside from the loss of inventory, falling product or collapsing shelves could injure or even kill your employees. The shelves could create a fire hazard by blocking an exit in the event of an emergency. It is imperative that companies consult their local building department for the most up-to-date information on code restrictions where the facility is being built.
Seismic considerations are not just for those living on the West Coast, either. According to ANSI MH16.1-2012:
Where customer specifications require or local building codes dictate that
provisions be made for earthquake effects and associated lateral forces,
customers, or their representatives, shall bring such requirements to the attention
of the rack manufacturer. For each such installation, the storage rack shall be
designed, manufactured and installed in accordance with such provisions.
Storage racks that are more than 8 feet (2.44 m) in height to the top loaded shelf,
and are not connected to buildings or other structures, shall be designed to resist
seismic forces in compliance with this section.
At Teilhaber, our experienced staff is familiar with the challenges of building systems in seismic areas and can design a system that is well-suited for your application. We will work with your local government to ensure that everything is up to code so that you can rest easy knowing that your employees, your customers and your inventory is completely safe, even in the event of seismic activity. For more information about Teilhaber products, including our C.U.E. Shelf 2.0, designed specifically for high-seismic areas, visit teilhaber.com