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Everything You Need To Know About Racking Safety Pins

Of all the large, heavy kit that comes with warehouse racking and install, the Racking Safety Pin, or locking pin, beam lock or beams connector lock as they’re sometimes known, is one of, if not THE most important parts you need.

What is a Racking Safety Pin?

Small but mighty, the racking pin is just that – a pin that safely holds the beam in place and greatly reduces the risk of the beam becoming dislodged from the upright. Generally manufactured from steel, the pins are inserted into the beam and through the beam and the upright’s front face. Each beam should have two pins to be functional (one per connector).

What are Racking Safety Pins for?

In essence, a locking pins sole responsibility is to prevent the beam from being dislodged from the front face of the upright. This happens when the underside of the beam is knocked or hit in an upward motion and should a pin not be in place then this would lift the beam out of its position as well as any items sat on the beam level therefore creating a huge risk for operators below. They are an absolutely vital safety feature in a racking system. Racking can stay together with pins missing, but in doing so, the risk for racking collapse and falling pallets increases significantly.

When inserted correctly and not damaged, the pins hold the beams in place where they could become nudged or dislodged accidentally by a forklift, for example, ensuring the integrity of the racking and pallets.

Racking Safety Pins are also designed to snap when put under a certain amount of pressure to conduct a safer and more controlled collapse or fall of pallets and racking in place of a full-scale incident. By shearing off at a particular rate of pressure – typically 0.5-1.00 tonne – the beam in question can dislodge itself and contain the damage in that area. If the beam does not dislodge, the damage could affect the entire upright and all the beams in the structure, potentially causing a whole racking collapse. This scenario is dangerous for workers, significantly impacts warehouse productivity, and will make a big dent in your profits when you’re replacing damaged goods.

How do you use racking pins?

They don’t look like much – a simple design and so easy to use. As mentioned, two pins are required per beam, inserted in the front face of the upright in the spaces provided. And that really is it.

What you should note is they are manufacturer specific. Racking and pins are designed to work together, and so you will notice that pin design is not a one size fits all. Your racking, such as those installed by Nene, will have specific safety features and pins to match. Doing this ensures complete unity in the racking’s functionality. Using off the shelf, non-manufacturer agreed parts on any of your racking are not advised by SEMA or Nene, as they cannot guarantee your racking performance.

Can Racking Safety Pins Fail A SEMA Inspection?

SEMA has a Code of Practice, which is available to storage facility owners, in which they advise on the necessity of the pins and how they affect an inspection. An inspector will look for damaged and missing pins as part of the comprehensive safety check, and using a traffic light system, the damaged pins or lack of pins will trigger an Amber response on your report. The Amber will be flagged for correction to keep your employees safe and prevent any falls or collapses.

The smallest part in the kit plays arguably one of the biggest parts in the stability of your racking. Be sure to make regular checks on your racking system, utilise maintenance services such as Nene Racking Maintenance to rectify any issues before you get to inspection and most importantly, to prevent any incidents. If you have any concerns over your current racking installation, contact Nene Warehouse Solutions for market leading advise and services.