Guarding SolutionsProGMA

The Importance Of Rack Guarding To Worker And Product Safety

Attached to the columns on the sides and back of individual rack bays, configured to prevent unauthorized access to a specific area of a rack structure, or deployed to prevent entry to an entire aisle, rack guarding offers protection of both workers and products. Constructed of steel mesh welded to a steel frame, these containment panels come in a wide range of configurations and options. This allows an operation to utilize the rack safety panels (also sometimes called rack back) in an arrangement best suited to its needs.

Rack guarding protects workers by preventing pallets or products from falling of the sides or back of a pallet rack, potentially striking and injuring a pedestrian at the floor level below. Likewise, because of their rigid material and construction, rack guarding stops a pallet or product from toppling over the side or back of the rack should the forklift operator not align the load properly with the rack beams. The resulting contact indicates to the forklift driver that a correction is needed before they lower the load, as well as prevents product damage.

Additionally, because it comes in a variety of dimensions, steel mesh rack guarding can be affixed to extend above the top-most level of an industrial steel storage rack structure. This allows a facility to leverage the highest storage positions without fear of objects falling, maximizing overhead storage capacity. Further, the panels can be utilized to protect any automated systems used within the racking, such as the cranes and shuttles deployed within an automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS).

When used to create a full perimeter around one or more rack bays — front, back and sides — rack guarding protects both contents and personnel by prohibiting unrestricted access. Often integrating special locking doors that accommodate human or forklift entry, the guarding secures valuable or hazardous items, specialized tools, manufacturing components such as tooling and dies, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, pressurized containers, and other products. Depending on the needs of the operation, doors as tall as 20 feet can be used to secure two standard-height bays vertically.

Likewise, rack guarding can be configured to extend from one rack to another across an aisle at both ends, with lockable access doors. This prohibits entry of unauthorized personnel into an entire aisle for protection of both workers and the items stored within.

Looking for additional ways to secure securing your storage rack? The members of the Protective Guarding Manufacturers Association (ProGMA), recently published a new standard, “ANSI MH31.1-2019 – Steel Mesh Containment Panels Used In Vertical Storage System Applications: Performance and Testing Requirements,” available for purchase.