How to Prevent Shelf and Rack Collapse in Warehouses

How to Prevent Shelf and Rack Collapse in Warehouses

Every warehouse shares one thing in common: they are prone to accidents. Whether it’s a warehouse that hasn’t seen an accident in months or a warehouse that can seem to operate without one, they’re all equally set up for possible blunders.

When heavy loads are stored on racks, collapses and product falls are always a safety concern. Busy warehouses that see plenty of workers drive or walk or work between aisles should look for ways to reduce the chances of a big accident. One way to take precaution is to invest in warehouse insurance, which can help businesses protect the integrity of their product and warehouses.

Let’s go over some of the ways in which shelf and rack collapses are common and how to prevent them.

Lift Trucks

Sometimes lift truck drivers can be a little careless and sometimes accidents just happen behind the wheel. If there’s an accident that includes a lift and a rack this could lead to warehouse-wide collapse like a domino effect. Here are some steps to take to prevent this:

  • Build out aisle space: There has to be a minimum allotted space for lifts to travel through and work within aisles. Start by taking into account pallet overhang on both sides of an aisle and build an outline from there.
  • Rack protection: End frames and corner columns are the most fragile points in an aisle. Look into types of protections like poly snap-on, button-on, floor-anchored or bolted steel, which can provide more security.
  • Keep clutter out: Sometimes lift truck operators can’t see everything in their path. Even the smallest item could throw them off their focus and end up causing an accident. Make sure aisles are free of clutter and have regular sweeps to ensure trash, racks and inventory are out of the way.


Capacities for beams depend on a number of factors, but all need to have evenly distributed weight loading. Integrity of beams can be compromised with damaged pallets or high-density loads, so be sure to check not only particulars of weight bearing, but just how and what is stacked.

Load Clearances

Tight clearances between the rack and pallets puts forklift drivers at risk of making a costly mistake. Possibly rack collapses could occur if impact loads are installed instead of static loads on racks.

Modern warehouses are helping to alleviate this by using high-tech laser guides that help drivers see where they are loading without obstruction. These laser-line tools align forklift-tines with exactly the amount of space they need to load.

While all warehouse loading failures can’t be prevented, using these preventative steps can help to keep them at bay.

About Newman Crane & Associates Insurance

Deciding what coverage you need and what limits and deductibles make the most sense can be tricky. Since 1965, Newman Crane & Associates Insurance has been helping Central Floridians make sense of their options and make the smartest choices for their circumstances. Whether you need Warehouse Insurance or any other type of business or personal coverage, we encourage you to contact our friendly, experienced, and capable team today. Call us at (407) 859-3691 for a consultation.