Storage Rack System Checklist & Tips On Choosing The Right Storage Rack System

Storage Rack Checklist

It’s a good idea to be in the habit of regularly inspecting your warehouse storage rack system. Conducting periodic rack inspections to verify that a facility’s or warehouse’s industrial steel storage rack system complies with applicable standards is not only recommended but also the best way to ensure the safety and performance of the system. Although having a third-party rack inspection specialist conduct a more comprehensive inspection is recommended, conducting regular visual inspections can help mitigate the risk of serious damage or injury. Addressing defects at early stages during regular visual inspections is an effective way to reduce the likelihood of significant harm or damage. Manufacturers include requirements for proper maintenance on their rack systems and suggest implementing a periodic inspection program that ensures that workers will remain productive as they are able to perform their assigned tasks without risk of injury or downtime from a rack failure.

Using the following checklist can help in identifying some of the most potential issues that may arise between inspections.

Note:  These are general preventive maintenance suggestions that you can add to your company’s approved checklist. Below are only a few very broad items to be aware of when performing or scheduling warehouse safety maintenance.  Your specific facility and industry regulations will determine what unique checklists are needed based on your asset\equipment inventory.

Keep in mind that while the aforementioned items provide a foundation, they are not an exhaustive list, and the checklist must be customized according to the distinct attributes and risks associated with the warehouse environment.Kings River Testimonial

What is a Racking System Checklist?

A racking system checklist is a comprehensive tool that helps assess the condition and safety of industrial storage racks in a facility. It typically includes a detailed list of items to check, including the structural integrity of the racks, the condition of the floor and loading equipment, compliance with safety standards and regulations, and overall maintenance. The checklist helps to identify potential issues, such as overloading, damaged components, or inadequate repairs, that could compromise the safety of workers and the integrity of the facility’s inventory. By regularly using a racking system checklist, facility managers can proactively identify and address issues, ensure compliance with regulations, and prevent accidents and costly downtime.

Racking System Vs Pallet Racking System

A racking system is a structure that is designed to store materials or products in an organized and efficient manner. A racking system can be designed in a variety of configurations, depending on the specific storage needs of the business or organization.

A pallet racking system is a type of racking system that is designed specifically for the storage of palletized materials. This type of racking system consists of horizontal beams and vertical uprights that create levels for the storage of pallets. Pallet racking systems are commonly used in warehouses and distribution centers

Preventive ChecklistsRacking System Checklist Suggestions

Selecting A Pallet Rack System (see below)

Types Of Pallet Racking Systems (see below)

Rack Environment

Check For Environmental Factors: Monitor the temperature, humidity, and other environmental factors that could affect the structural integrity of the racks, such as exposure to moisture or extreme heat, or cold.

Rack Design: Ensure that the rack system is properly designed to meet the needs of the operation, taking into account factors such as load size and weight, storage density, and accessibility.

Regular Inspections: Conduct regular inspections of the rack environment to identify potential hazards and address them promptly.

Rack Maintenance: Conduct regular maintenance on racks to ensure that they are structurally sound and in good condition.

Adequate Lighting: Ensure that the rack environment has sufficient lighting to allow for safe and efficient operations.

Clear Aisle Ways: Aisle ways should be free from obstruction to allow for the safe movement of personnel and equipment.

Proper Ventilation: The rack environment should have adequate ventilation to control temperature and humidity levels, as well as to prevent the buildup of hazardous fumes and gases.

Fire Suppression Systems: Install proper fire suppression systems, such as sprinklers, smoke detectors, and fire alarms, to minimize the risk of fires.         

Load Capacity labels: All racks should have load capacity labels prominently displayed to ensure that they are not overloaded and pose a risk to personnel and equipment.

Emergency Procedures: Establish emergency procedures and ensure that all personnel are trained on them to ensure their safety in the event of an emergency.

Proper Training: Train all personnel on safe operating procedures for the rack environment, including proper handling of loads, use of equipment, and emergency procedures.

Rack Protectors, Start by inspecting them regularly for any signs of damage, such as cracks or deformation. Ensure that the rack protectors are securely fastened and that there are no loose or missing bolts or screws. Check that the protectors are in the correct position and that they adequately cover the areas they are intended to protect. If any damage or issues are found, replace or repair the rack protectors immediately to maintain the safety and integrity of the rack system.

Rack Condition

Inspections: Establish a regular inspection schedule to check the racks for damage or other issues.

Rack Structure: Inspect the racks for signs of rust or corrosion, which can weaken the structural integrity of the racks.

Check For Environmental Factors: Monitor the temperature, humidity, and other environmental factors that could affect the structural integrity of the racks, such as exposure to moisture or extreme heat, or cold.

Visible Damage: Inspect the racks for any visible damage, such as dents, cracks, bent beams or uprights, and missing bolts or connectors.

Rack Wear: Look for signs of wear and tear on the racks, such as scratches, scuffs, or worn-out parts.

Deformation:  Check for any signs of deformation: Look for any deformations in the racks, such as bowing, twisting, or sagging, as these can indicate potential structural problems.

Connections: Inspect for loose or missing connections: Check all connections, including bolts, nuts, and clips, to ensure that they are secure and not missing.

Weight Capacity: Ensure that the weight of the loads stored on the racks is within the rated capacity of the racks by checking load capacity.

Rack Alignment: Ensure that the racks are properly aligned and level to prevent damage or collapse due to misalignment.

Stability: Check that the racks are properly anchored to the floor to maintain stability and safety.

Spacing: Ensure that the racks are spaced properly with adequate clearance between them for safe and efficient loading and unloading.

Labeled: Verify that the racks are properly labeled with load capacity and other important information clearly visible.

Check for obstructions: Ensure that there are no obstructions, such as pallets or debris, blocking access to emergency exits, fire suppression equipment, or other important areas.

Verify that the racks are used properly: Observe how the racks are being used to ensure that they are being loaded and unloaded safely and according to established procedures.


* Check for bent or damaged uprights.

* Inspect foot plates for damage or stability.

* Check for the presence and condition of rack protectors, such as column protectors or guard rails.

* Inspect bracing for damage or looseness.

* Check for proper anchoring to the floor.

* Ensure that the rack is level and properly aligned.

* Verify that the rack is being used within its rated capacity.

* Establish a regular inspection schedule to ensure ongoing safety and maintenance.


* Identify the type of storage rack you need and ensure that you have the correct components for assembly.

* Choose a location for the storage rack that is level, free of obstructions, and allows for easy access to the items you will be storing.

* Read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and gather all necessary tools and hardware.

* Assemble the vertical posts by attaching the horizontal beams to the designated holes, using the bolts and nuts provided. Use a level to ensure that the posts are straight and even.

* Attach the shelves to the horizontal beams, using the plastic shelf clips or other hardware provided. Make sure that the shelves are level and evenly spaced.

* If necessary, secure the storage rack to the wall or floor, using the floor anchors and/or other hardware provided.

* Inspect the assembled storage rack carefully, checking for any signs of damage or misalignment.

* Load the storage rack with your desired items, taking care not to overload the shelves or create an unstable arrangement.

* Periodically inspect the storage rack for signs of wear and tear, and make any necessary repairs or replacements.

* Follow all safety guidelines for use of the storage rack, including weight limits, loading and unloading procedures, and any additional safety measures you have installed.

Inspecting Beams

Load Capacity: Check that the load capacity of the storage rack beams is appropriate for the weight of the items being stored.

Beam Spacing: Ensure that the beams are spaced properly to prevent overloading and ensure the stability of the rack system.

Beam Alignment: Check that the beams are aligned properly and level to prevent any leaning or instability.

Rust Or Corrosion: Inspect the beams for any signs of rust or corrosion, which can weaken the structural integrity of the rack system.

Welding: Check the welds on the beams to ensure they are not cracked or broken, which can compromise the safety of the rack system.

Missing Clips Or Bolts: Inspect the clips and bolts that secure the beams to the uprights to ensure that none are missing or damaged.

Safety Pins: Check that safety pins or other attachments are in place to prevent accidental dislodging of the beams from the uprights.

Deflection: Measure the deflection of the beams to ensure that they are not bending or bowing under the weight of the stored items.

Beam Length: Ensure that the length of the beams is appropriate for the depth of the storage system and that there is no overhang or protrusion.

Compatibility: Check that the beams are compatible with the other components of the storage rack system and that they are designed to work together safely and effectively.

Safety Measures Before Using a Storage Rack

Clearance: Check that there is enough clearance around the storage racks to allow for the safe movement of workers and equipment. Ensure that there is no overhead obstruction or obstacles that could pose a hazard.

Pallet Positioning: Ensure that pallets are positioned properly on the racks, with the load centered and resting evenly on the beams.

Safety Equipment: Confirm that all required safety equipment is in place and functioning properly. This includes items such as safety harnesses, safety nets, or safety guards.

Load Restraint: Check that loads are properly secured and restrained to prevent shifting or falling during transport or storage. Ensure that straps, chains, or other restraints are in good condition and properly tightened.

Rack Capacity: Confirm that the weight capacity of the storage racks is not being exceeded. Ensure that loads are placed in a way that evenly distributes the weight across the beams.

Rack Stability: Check the stability of the storage racks regularly to ensure that they are anchored securely to the floor and that there is no damage or wear that could compromise their structural integrity.

Load Labeling: Ensure that loads are labeled properly with the weight, contents, and any other necessary information to facilitate safe and accurate handling and storage.

Load Height: Confirm that the height of the loads being stored on the racks is within the recommended limits. Ensure that loads are stacked straight and level to prevent any instability.

Loading and Unloading: Ensure that loading and unloading of the storage racks is done in a safe and controlled manner, with workers trained in proper techniques to prevent accidents or injuries.

Inspections: Conduct regular inspections of the storage racks and all associated equipment, including pallets, beams, clips, and bolts, to ensure that everything is in good condition and functioning properly.

Supply Chains eWorkOrdersSelecting A Pallet Rack System   


Selecting the right pallet rack system for your warehouse or distribution center is crucial to maximizing storage space, improving efficiency, and increasing safety. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a pallet rack system:

Load Capacity: The pallet rack system must be able to safely support the weight of the products or materials being stored. Consider the weight, size, and shape of the loads to determine the necessary capacity.

Storage Density: The pallet rack system should be designed to optimize the available space, considering the height, width, and depth of the rack. 

Rack Height: The height of your warehouse ceiling can impact the height of the pallet rack system you choose. You need to make sure the rack system can fit in the space you have available.

Accessibility: Consider the frequency of access to products and whether selective, drive-in, push-back or other rack types are appropriate.

Inventory Management: Evaluate the type of inventory you will be storing and the picking method that will be used to determine the best rack configuration for your warehouse.

Warehouse Layout: Consider the layout of the warehouse, including the size and shape of the building, the location of the loading docks, and the height of the ceiling.

Flexibility: You may need to consider how easily the rack system can be reconfigured or expanded in the future, as your needs change. 

Safety regulations: Ensure the pallet rack system meets OSHA safety standards and regulations. 

Budget: Determine your budget for the pallet rack system, including the cost of installation, ongoing maintenance, and any necessary accessories.

Future Expansion: Consider the potential for future expansion and the ability to add on to the existing pallet rack system as storage needs increase. 

Warehouse KPIsTypes Of Pallet Racking Systems  


Selective Pallet Rack

A selective rack is a type of pallet racking system that is designed for high selectivity and accessibility. It is widely used in warehouses and distribution centers due to its ease of use. The system comprises vertical upright frames and adjustable horizontal load beams that can accommodate various pallet sizes. The beams can be adjusted in 2-inch increments, providing versatility in the height of the storage levels.

Selective rack is typically made of sturdy steel and can support heavy loads. It can also accommodate pallets of various shapes, sizes, and weights, making it a versatile storage solution for many industries. Depending on the available space and the storage requirements of the facility, the system can be configured as a single row or multiple rows of racks.

Drive-in Pallet Rack

A drive-in pallet rack is a type of pallet racking system that allows for high-density storage of palletized goods. In this system, the forklift operator drives into the rack structure to place or retrieve pallets, eliminating the need for aisles between the racks. This results in a much higher storage capacity compared to selective rack systems. The drive-in rack is designed with continuous rails that guide the forklift into the rack structure and prevent damage to the system. The system is ideal for storing large quantities of the same SKU and is commonly used in facilities with a low number of SKUs but a high inventory volume. However, because of the nature of the system, it can take longer to retrieve pallets compared to selective rack systems, and the risk of damage to pallets and rack structures is higher.

Push-Back Pallet Rack

The push-back pallet rack is a highly efficient storage solution that maximizes warehouse space utilization by providing multiple pick faces while using fewer aisles. It features a stationary rack structure with a nested cart system that slides along inclined rails, allowing pallets to be loaded two to six deep from the front. The push-back rack is available in multiple configurations and can be easily adapted to specific storage needs. This type of system is ideal for warehouses that require flexibility in selection and high-density storage, and where order picking is not necessary from pallets within the push-back racking system. It also offers the advantage of using the First-In-Last-Out (FILO) retrieval method.

Pallet Flow Pallet Rack

The pallet flow pallet rack is a highly efficient storage system that uses gravity rollers to automate the storage and retrieval process. The system works by adding new pallets at the higher end and retrieving them from the lower end as they automatically move forward on the dynamic flow rail. This efficient flow allows for double or even triple warehouse capacity compared to drive-in systems and uses a First-In-First-Out (FIFO) retrieval flow to provide excellent volume utilization. The system requires no energy consumption and can be customized with various accessories to maximize safe and effective distribution. With a range of two to 12+ pallets deep, it offers a significant cost savings in space usage, employee manpower, and utilities, producing an almost solid volume of usable storage space.

Cantilever Racks

The cantilever racking system is an ideal storage solution for large, bulky, and unwieldy items such as tubing, pipes, bars, and lumber. The system comprises uprights/towers, bases, arms, and brace sets and is designed to stand alone, without the need for building support. This offers versatility and durability, with a range of customizable options available. The system can be made from multiple types of materials, including roll-formed and structural steel, as well as galvanized for outdoor storage yards or harsh environments. It is a strong, safe, and economical storage solution that provides excellent flexibility for storing long items.

Double Deep Racking System

The double deep racking system is a cost-effective solution for creating high-density storage and is a variation of the selective pallet rack, with one row of selective racking placed behind another. This system is designed to store more pallets per SKU, usually accommodating two pallets of the same SKU in each double deep slot. It is an excellent option for those looking for greater storage density, have a medium number of SKUs distributed in medium or high volumes, or stock with medium to long shelf life. With its ability to maximize storage space, the double deep racking system offers an efficient solution for businesses looking to optimize their warehouse capacity.

Live Pallet Storage

Live pallet storage is a system that utilizes gravity to function effectively. Full pallets of inventory are placed onto the loading area and are then transported down tracks that are inclined towards the opposite side of the system where a separate loading out aisle is located. This facilitates the first-in, first-out (FIFO) retrieval flow. By employing this system, users are provided with clear aisles that measure between 9 to 11 feet, and it allows for efficient use of space by utilizing a single lane for each stock-keeping unit (SKU).

Carton Flow Pallet Racks

Carton flow pallet racks are a specialized type of storage system that is similar to pallet flow racks, but tailored specifically to smaller products and boxes instead of full pallets. The system uses gravity to transport items from one side of the racking system to the other, allowing for efficient and streamlined picking. Carton flow pallet racks are designed for high-density first-in, first-out (FIFO) inventory flow and can easily be integrated with other systems to create a complete pick module. One of the key benefits of this system is its versatility, as it can be customized with a variety of accessories such as tilt trays and polycarbonate or steel rollers to accommodate different carton widths and shapes. With its efficient and easily customizable design, carton flow pallet racks are an ideal solution for storing faster-moving items and oddly shaped inventory.

Narrow Aisle Pallet Rack

For those seeking an efficient space-saving solution, the narrow aisle pallet rack is an excellent option. These racks are designed to be loaded and unloaded using a side-loading forklift, which enables them to be positioned closer together, creating aisles that can be as narrow as 5 to 7 feet. Typically constructed from high-quality steel and utilizing selective racking, this pallet rack type eliminates the need for pick and deposit stations by allowing order picking machines to pick directly from the pallets. With its streamlined design and optimized use of space, the narrow aisle pallet rack is an excellent choice for those looking to maximize their storage capacity.

Mobile Racking

A mobile pallet rack is essentially a selective pallet rack or cantilever rack affixed onto mobile bases equipped with wheels that move along electronically driven tracks. By shifting along the tracks, the mobile racks provide access to pallets, one aisle at a time. This type of pallet rack system is particularly suitable for high-density storage warehouses that require maximum selectivity and limited pallet movement. With its innovative design and practical functionality, the mobile pallet rack is an excellent storage solution for modern warehouses seeking to optimize their storage capacity.

Mezzanine Racking

Mezzanine racking is a type of storage system that utilizes the vertical space in a warehouse by creating a raised platform or mezzanine level. This additional level is constructed above the existing ground-level storage space and can be accessed by stairs or a freight elevator. Mezzanine racking is typically used to increase storage capacity or to create an additional workspace in a warehouse. The racking system used on the mezzanine level can vary, but often it is constructed from a combination of pallet racking or shelving systems. Mezzanine racking is a flexible and efficient storage solution that can be customized to meet the specific needs of a warehouse, providing valuable additional storage space without requiring costly building expansions or relocation. 

Vertical Racking

Vertical racking is a storage system designed to utilize vertical space in a warehouse or storage area. It involves stacking materials or products vertically to maximize storage capacity while minimizing the floor space used. Vertical racking can take various forms, such as shelving units, mezzanine floors, or high-rise automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS). The design of vertical racking varies depending on the size and shape of the products being stored and the available space. This type of storage system is particularly useful for storing long or bulky items, as it allows for easy access to individual items while maximizing the use of available space. Vertical racking is a popular choice for warehouses and distribution centers seeking to optimize their storage capacity and efficiency.

Shuttle Pallet Racking

Shuttle pallet racking is a high-density storage system that utilizes shuttle cars to transport pallets within the racking system. This system is comprised of upright frames, horizontal load beams, and shuttle cars that can move pallets within the racking system, eliminating the need for forklifts to move pallets in and out of the racks. The shuttle cars can be programmed to retrieve and deposit pallets according to specific criteria, such as FIFO (first in, first out) or LIFO (last in, first out) inventory management systems. Shuttle pallet racking is particularly useful for warehouses with high volumes of inventory and limited floor space. The system allows for maximum use of vertical space, increasing storage capacity and improving efficiency by reducing the time it takes to load and unload pallets.

Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (ASRS 

Automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS) are computer-controlled material handling systems that use advanced technology to automate the process of storage and retrieval of goods or materials from a defined storage location. These systems are designed to increase efficiency and productivity by minimizing the need for manual labor in a warehouse or distribution center. ASRS typically consists of a series of racks or shelves, automated storage and retrieval machines (SRMs), and a warehouse control system (WCS) that manages the flow of materials in and out of the system. The system can be programmed to automatically retrieve specific items and transport them to a designated location for retrieval, reducing the time and effort required for manual material handling. ASRS systems are commonly used in high-volume warehouses, distribution centers, and manufacturing facilities to optimize space, improve accuracy, and increase productivity.

Managing Storage Rack Maintenance with CMMS

A CMMS can efficiently manage storage rack checklists by scheduling and automating routine maintenance tasks, generating reminders for due tasks, and standardizing the process of completing checklists. Users can customize inspections and technicians can complete them electronically, with the system automatically generating work orders for issues that require attention. This comprehensive solution ensures optimal maintenance, streamlines processes, saves time, and increases productivity.

Other Resources

eWorkOrders Maintenance Checklist Library

The Ultimate Warehouse Safety Checklist

Conveyor Belt Maintenance Checklist – Things You Shouldn’t Forget

Common Forklift Problems & How To Avoid Them

Please note that any procedure, checklist, or other documents available in Information Professionals, Inc. (eWorkOrders)  Procedure Library is provided for general education and information only and does not constitute legal, medical, or financial advice. By using any such materials, you assume the risk that they may not be appropriate for your specific situation and agree that you are solely responsible for any such use, including compliance with applicable law and with meeting any conditions of product warranties.

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