by Gladys Johnsen – On January 1st, 2018 WorkSafeBC’s amendment defining specific safety requirements for the proper installation, inspection and maintenance of steel storage racks will come into force. The amendment aligns WorkSafeBC with building code requirements as well as CSA standards. This change will bring consistency throughout BC. Previously only those installations done with a local building permit had posted standards for safe working loads.
These requirements will also have an impact on existing warehouses. Repair or replacement of pallet racking that does not involve altering the as-is initial build of the system must be completed by qualified personnel, whereas changes that involve altering elevations of load beams from the initial build will require an engineering review to ensure that the building code is met.
Arpac Storage Systems is an integrated supplier of material handling products, including pallet racking systems and other warehousing equipment. Arpac’s President Art Wuschke, said:
We encourage readers to understand the new regulation, as well as building code changes, when they are considering a new or reconfiguration of an existing pallet racking system.
Meeting the seismic standard will require companies to work with the pallet rack manufacturer and /or use a professional engineer, post safe working loads for the system as designed as well as follow and post regular inspection and maintenance updates.
After the new regulations come into effect, WorkSafeBC officers conducting an inspection will be looking for the as-built engineering drawing posted in the warehouse as well as any visible damage to the system and the records of repair. They will need to see that the inspections and any upgrades were approved by “qualified persons” as defined by the amendment.
To assist employers, WorkSafeBC has developed a draft Storage Rack Form and draft post standards for Qualified Person for the Inspection of Storage Racks and Qualified Person for Installation/ Uninstallation of Storage Racks. As public consultation with those impacted by the changes occurs, these drafts will be finalized and posted as part of the OHS Guideline.
Details of the proposed amendment can be accessed at: safetyalliancebc.ca/wsbc-racking