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Pallet racks can be one of the most effective ways to store and organize the goods in your warehouse – as long as they’re properly configured, that is.

In our rush to store an ever-increasing number of items on the pallet racks we have the space for, we often run into the risk of push-through. Push-through can create hazardous conditions for your inventory (as well as, more importantly, your workers), and while it can be frustrating to deal with, it can be easily prevented with a little planning – and the right equipment.


What is pallet rack push-through?

Pallet rack push-through refers to any item that gets pushed too far to the back or sides of your pallet rack, leading to at least some of the pallet hanging over the edge of the shelf. The term comes from the fact that these items are being pushed to the edge of the shelf, which could lead to collisions with workers, equipment, or other items on the shelf. Or, more seriously, this could cause accidents where the entire pallet is pushed off of the rack – even causing damage to the rack itself, creating a serious risk of injury.

At best, these items can create obstacles and blockage, but the potential for catastrophic accidents or structural instability remains unless your warehouse takes careful steps to reduce or prevent push-through. Luckily, this task can be accomplished more easily than you may expect.


How to Prevent Pallet Racking Push Through

Protecting your pallet racks from push-through damage tends to take two different forms: better organizing of the items on your racks, and using pallet rack accessories to add an additional layer of protection to the rack itself.


Organizing Your Pallet Racks to Prevent Push-Through

The first, and perhaps fastest, way to prevent push-through on the items in your pallet rack is to reorganize your pallet racks to make sure the space is being used properly.

When adding items to pallet racks, make sure the items are as close to uniform size/shape as possible. Even when dealing with palletized goods, this isn’t always the most viable option, but by thinking a little more critically about what goods can be placed next to each other, you can avoid the risk of something more irregularly-shaped hanging off the edge due to a lack of space. Try to factor in both vertical and horizontal dimensions to make sure that nothing is colliding up high where it would be harder to rearrange it, and make sure that everything is evenly spaced, no matter what items each pallet holds.

Avoiding the temptation to over-fill your racks is crucial as well. The urge to fit that “one last pallet” on each rack is a huge contributing factor to push-through, as it may result in certain racks getting shoved out of the way and hanging over the edge. No matter how pressed for time or space you may be, make sure each rack’s capacity limits are being observed, and leave just enough breathing room that everything can be safely stored as needed.


Pallet Rack Push-Through Protective Equipment

Of course, proper organization of your pallet racks is only the first step in preventing push-through, and a little extra safety gear is never a bad idea.

By lining the edges of your racks with accessories like pallet rack safety netting, you can both create a much stronger barrier to prevent overhangs in the first place, as well as keeping your products and crew safer overall. Add these barriers to your pallet racks as able, and you’ll find your warehouse becomes a much safer place to work.

The final step in preventing push-through is, of course, attentiveness. Even with your new safety implements in place, making sure your team is trained up on safe pallet rack limits and dimensions will be critical for keeping your goods safe going forward.

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