Any damage to a pallet rack column will reduce its load carrying capacity. The greater the damage the greater will be the reduction in its strength until the upright collapses at its normal working load.
Damage to bracing sections will reduce the capacity of racking frames to withstand accidental frontal impacts and may also reduce the axial load carrying capability of frame uprights.
In order to minimise the possibility of collapse occurring through damaged members, the following rules for the measurement of damage are recommended. In using these rules the normal margins of safety will, however, be reduced, and the rack supplier should therefore be consulted.
Serious damage is obvious, but if the damage is minor, how can you tell if the damage represents a threat to safety?
The following method of measuring pallet rack damage is incorporated in the British, European and Australian Standards and an easy way to check your pallet racking.
Assessment of Damage to Uprights and Bracing Members
1. A steel straight edge 1.0 metre (39") long is placed in contact with the surface you want to measure.
2. On the side, the maximum allowable gap between the upright and straight edge should not exceed 5.0mm (0.2").
3. At the front, the maximum gap between the upright and straight edge should not exceed 3.0mm (0.125)".
4. For bracing members bent in either plane, the maximum allowable gap between straight edge and bracing member should not exceed 10mm(0.4").
5. These rules apply only to damage which produces an overall bend in a member. They do not apply to highly localised damage such as dents, buckles, tears, splits. Localised bends over a length of less than one metre, may be judged pro-rata to the 1.0 metre limits e.g. over a half metre length half of the prescribed limits apply. Members subjected to tears and splits should be replaced.
6. Under maximum permissible loading conditions with maximum deviation from straightness in any upright a reduced margin of safety will exist.
7. Where the deviations are in excess of the above, the damaged members should be unloaded immediately and the rack supplier consulted.
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