Here we take a look at the commonly asked questions about pallet racking.

Does pallet racking need to be bolted down?
How far does pallet racking need to be from wall?
Does pallet racking need to be certified?
Can you work under pallet racking?
How much does pallet racking cost?
What is galvanised pallet racking?
What is very narrow aisle pallet racking?

Does pallet racking need to be bolted down?

In the United Kingdom, the requirements for bolting down pallet racking systems depend on various factors, including building codes, regulations, and safety standards. While I cannot provide specific legal advice, I can offer some general guidance:

Building Regulations

Building regulations in the UK, such as those outlined in the Building Regulations 2010, may contain provisions related to the installation and anchoring of storage systems, including pallet racking. These regulations aim to ensure the safety and stability of structures within buildings.

Health and Safety Regulations

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in the UK sets out regulations and guidelines to ensure workplace safety. Employers have a legal obligation to ensure the safety of employees and visitors, including the safety of storage systems like pallet racking. Compliance with HSE guidelines may require anchoring pallet racking systems to prevent collapse or tipping.

Manufacturer’s Recommendations

Pallet racking manufacturers typically provide installation guidelines and recommendations, which may include instructions on anchoring the system. It’s essential to follow these recommendations to ensure the structural integrity and safety of the racking system.

Risk Assessment

Employers and duty holders are required to conduct risk assessments in the workplace to identify hazards and assess risks to health and safety. As part of this process, the stability and security of pallet racking systems should be evaluated. Depending on the outcome of the risk assessment, bolting down the racking system may be deemed necessary to mitigate the risk of collapse or instability.

Professional Advice

It’s advisable to seek professional advice from structural engineers, warehouse designers, or qualified installers when planning the installation of pallet racking systems. These professionals can assess the specific requirements of your facility, including the need for anchoring, and ensure compliance with relevant regulations and standards.

In summary, while there may not be a blanket requirement to bolt down pallet racking systems in the UK, it’s essential to consider factors such as building regulations, health and safety requirements, manufacturer recommendations, and risk assessments when determining the appropriate installation and anchoring methods for pallet racking. Compliance with relevant standards and guidelines is crucial to ensure the safety of personnel and the integrity of the storage system.

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How far does pallet racking need to be from wall?

The distance that pallet racking needs to be from a wall can vary based on several factors, including building codes, safety regulations, and practical considerations. While specific requirements may differ depending on your location and local regulations, here are some general guidelines to consider:

Building Codes and Regulations

Local building codes and regulations may stipulate minimum clearance requirements for pallet racking systems from walls. These regulations are often in place to ensure access for firefighting, maintenance, and emergency egress.

Manufacturer’s Recommendations

Pallet racking manufacturers typically provide guidelines for the installation and clearance requirements of their systems. These recommendations may vary depending on the specific design and configuration of the racking system. It’s essential to consult the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure compliance with their guidelines.

Fire Safety Considerations

Adequate clearance between pallet racking and walls is important for fire safety. Fire codes may require sufficient space to allow for the installation of fire suppression systems, such as sprinklers, and to prevent the obstruction of fire exits or access for firefighting equipment.

Operational Requirements

The distance between pallet racking and walls should also consider operational requirements, such as the safe maneuvering of forklift trucks or other material handling equipment. Sufficient clearance is necessary to ensure that operators can access and maneuver within the aisles safely.

Structural Considerations

Clearance from walls should also account for structural considerations, such as building columns, beams, or other obstructions that may impact the installation and stability of the pallet racking system.

While specific clearance requirements can vary, a common recommendation is to maintain a minimum distance of at least 6 inches (15 centimeters) between the back of the pallet racking and the wall. However, this distance may need to be adjusted based on the factors mentioned above and any applicable regulations or guidelines in your area.

It’s essential to consult with local authorities, building inspectors, or a qualified professional to ensure compliance with relevant regulations and to determine the appropriate clearance for your specific situation. Additionally, adhering to manufacturer recommendations and conducting a thorough risk assessment can help ensure the safe and effective installation of pallet racking systems in your facility.

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How much weight can pallet racking hold?

The weight that pallet racking can hold depends on several factors, including the type of racking system, its configuration, the quality of materials used, and how it’s installed. Here are some general considerations

Type of Pallet Racking

There are several types of pallet racking systems, including selective racking, drive-in racking, push-back racking, and pallet flow racking, among others. Each type has different load capacities based on its design and intended use.

Beam and Upright Capacity

The capacity of pallet racking is typically specified in terms of the load capacity per pair of beams and per upright frame. Manufacturers provide load capacity ratings based on the configuration and dimensions of the racking system.

Load Distribution

The weight that pallet racking can hold also depends on how the weight is distributed across the beams and uprights. Evenly distributing the weight of pallets and goods across the racking system helps ensure its stability and load-bearing capacity.

Installation and Anchoring

Proper installation and anchoring of pallet racking are essential for ensuring its load-bearing capacity. Anchoring the racking system to the floor according to manufacturer recommendations helps prevent tipping or collapse, especially in seismic-prone areas or where there are high wind loads.

Safety Factors

It’s important to consider safety factors when determining the weight capacity of pallet racking. Manufacturers typically provide load capacity ratings with built-in safety factors to account for variations in load distribution, material strength, and other factors.

Regulatory Compliance

Pallet racking systems must comply with relevant regulations and standards, such as those set by the Rack Manufacturers Institute (RMI) in the United States or the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) in Europe. These standards provide guidelines for designing, manufacturing, and installing pallet racking systems to ensure their safety and load-bearing capacity.

While specific weight capacities vary depending on the factors mentioned above, pallet racking systems are generally designed to support heavy loads and can typically hold several thousand pounds per level. It’s essential to consult with the manufacturer’s specifications and guidelines, as well as local regulations, to determine the appropriate load capacity for your specific pallet racking system and application.  Additionally, regular inspections and maintenance are crucial for ensuring the ongoing safety and reliability of pallet racking in your facility.

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Does pallet racking need to be certified?

In many jurisdictions and industries, pallet racking systems are not legally required to be certified before use. However, certification or compliance with industry standards and regulations is often advisable and may be required by certain organizations or customers. Here are some key points to consider:

Industry Standards

Pallet racking systems are typically designed, manufactured, and installed according to industry standards and guidelines set forth by organizations such as the Rack Manufacturers Institute (RMI) in the United States, the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) in Europe, and other relevant regulatory bodies. Adhering to these standards helps ensure the safety, reliability, and performance of pallet racking systems.

Manufacturer Recommendations

Pallet racking manufacturers often provide certifications or declarations of compliance with industry standards for their products. It’s important to verify that the racking system meets the required standards and specifications before purchase and installation.

Installation and Inspection

Proper installation and regular inspection of pallet racking systems are essential for maintaining safety and compliance. Qualified installers should follow manufacturer guidelines and best practices during installation, and routine inspections should be conducted to identify any signs of damage, wear, or deterioration that may affect the structural integrity of the racking system.

Regulatory Requirements

While specific certification requirements may vary depending on location and industry, there may be regulatory requirements or building codes that govern the design, installation, and use of pallet racking systems in certain jurisdictions. Compliance with these regulations helps ensure the safety and legality of the racking system.

Customer Requirements

Some customers or organizations may require certification or documentation of compliance with industry standards as part of their procurement or safety protocols. In such cases, obtaining certification or proof of compliance may be necessary to meet contractual or regulatory obligations.

While pallet racking systems may not be universally required to be certified, adherence to industry standards, manufacturer recommendations, and regulatory requirements is crucial for ensuring the safety, reliability, and compliance of the racking system. It’s important to work with reputable suppliers, follow best practices for installation and maintenance, and verify compliance with relevant standards and regulations to mitigate risks and ensure the integrity of pallet racking systems in your facility.

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Can you work under pallet racking?

Working under pallet racking poses certain risks and safety considerations that should be carefully evaluated and managed. While it’s possible to perform tasks under pallet racking under certain conditions, it’s important to ensure that appropriate safety measures are in place to mitigate the risks involved. Here are some factors to consider:

Clearance and Space

Ensure that there is sufficient clearance between the ground and the lowest level of the pallet racking system to allow for safe access and movement. Working under pallet racking with low clearance can increase the risk of head injuries or being struck by falling objects.

Stability and Structural Integrity

Confirm that the pallet racking system is properly installed, anchored, and structurally sound. Any signs of damage, corrosion, or instability should be promptly addressed to prevent collapse or tipping.

Fall Protection

Implement fall protection measures, such as guardrails, safety nets, or personal fall arrest systems, when working at heights or in elevated areas under pallet racking. This helps prevent falls and reduces the risk of serious injuries.

Training and Awareness

Provide adequate training to personnel who work under pallet racking to ensure they understand the potential hazards and safety procedures. Encourage vigilance and awareness of their surroundings to avoid accidents and injuries.

Safe Work Practices

Promote safe work practices, such as keeping aisles clear of clutter, using appropriate lifting techniques, and wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) as needed. Regularly inspect the area under pallet racking for hazards and address any issues promptly.

Emergency Preparedness

Have procedures in place for responding to emergencies, such as evacuating the area in the event of a collapse or injury. Ensure that personnel are familiar with emergency procedures and know how to access help if needed.

Ultimately, whether you can work under pallet racking depends on the specific circumstances and safety measures in place. It’s essential to assess the risks involved and take appropriate precautions to ensure the safety and well-being of workers in your facility. If in doubt, consult with safety professionals or regulatory authorities to ensure compliance with relevant safety standards and regulations.

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What is galvanised pallet racking?

Galvanized pallet racking refers to a type of storage system commonly used in warehouses, distribution centers, and industrial facilities. Pallet racking is a material handling storage system designed to store materials on pallets (wooden or plastic) in horizontal rows with multiple levels.

“Galvanized” refers to the process of coating steel or iron with a protective layer of zinc to prevent rust and corrosion. Galvanized pallet racking is coated with zinc to provide additional protection against environmental factors such as moisture, humidity, and chemicals, making it suitable for use in indoor and outdoor settings.

The galvanization process involves immersing the steel components of the pallet racking system into a bath of molten zinc, creating a durable and corrosion-resistant coating. This coating helps extend the lifespan of the pallet racking system and ensures its structural integrity over time, even in harsh conditions.

Galvanized pallet racking offers the advantages of durability, longevity, and resistance to corrosion, making it a popular choice for storage solutions in environments where rust and deterioration are concerns.

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What is very narrow aisle pallet racking?

Very Narrow Aisle (VNA) pallet racking is a specialized type of pallet racking system designed to maximize storage density and optimize warehouse space utilization. It is commonly used in warehouses and distribution centers where space is limited, and there is a need to store a large number of palletized goods.

VNA pallet racking systems feature narrower aisles compared to traditional pallet racking systems. These aisles are typically between 1.5 to 2 meters (5 to 6.5 feet) wide, allowing for more efficient use of floor space. The reduced aisle width enables warehouses to store more pallets vertically and achieve higher storage density without expanding the footprint of the facility.

Key features of Very Narrow Aisle pallet racking include

Specialized Forklifts

VNA systems require specialized narrow aisle forklift trucks with guidance systems such as wire guidance, rail guidance, or laser guidance. These forklifts are designed to navigate the narrow aisles safely and efficiently.

Precision Placement

Due to the limited space in narrow aisles, forklift operators must carefully maneuver pallets into position using precise control.

Height Optimization

VNA pallet racking systems are often designed to accommodate taller storage heights.  Taking full advantage of the vertical space in the warehouse. This is achieved through the use of high-reach forklifts that can access and retrieve pallets from elevated positions.


Despite the narrow aisles, VNA pallet racking systems maintain high selectivity, allowing easy access to individual pallets. This is essential for warehouses with a high volume of SKUs and frequent order picking requirements.

Increased Throughput

While VNA systems may have slower pallet retrieval times compared to wide aisle systems due to the precision required in maneuvering within the narrow aisles.  They can still achieve high throughput levels with efficient operation.

Overall, Very Narrow Aisle pallet racking systems are ideal for warehouses looking to maximize storage capacity within limited space constraints.  Maintaining accessibility and selectivity for inventory management and order fulfillment processes.

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How much does pallet racking cost?

The cost of pallet racking can vary significantly depending on various factors such as:

Type of Pallet Racking

Different types of pallet racking systems have different costs. Selective pallet racking, which is the most common type, tends to be less expensive compared to more specialized systems like drive-in racking or automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS).

Size and Configuration

The size and configuration of the pallet racking system, including the number of bays, levels, and overall capacity, can impact the cost. Larger systems with higher capacity and customization options may cost more.

Material and Quality

The material used in the construction of the pallet racking system, such as steel gauge and finish (galvanized, powder-coated, etc.), can affect the cost. Higher quality materials and finishes may come with a higher price tag but offer better durability and longevity.


The cost of installation, including labor and any additional equipment required, should be factored into the overall cost of the pallet racking system. Professional installation ensures proper assembly and adherence to safety standards.

Accessories and Add-ons

Additional accessories and add-ons such as wire decking, pallet supports, column protectors, and aisle markings can increase the overall cost of the pallet racking system.

Supplier and Location

The supplier or manufacturer of the pallet racking system and your geographical location can also impact the cost. Prices may vary between suppliers based on factors such as reputation, service quality, and shipping costs.


Bulk purchases or larger orders may qualify for volume discounts or reduced per-unit costs, potentially lowering the overall cost of the pallet racking system.

Additional Services

Some suppliers may offer additional services such as design consultation, layout planning, and ongoing maintenance, which can add to the overall cost but may provide added value.

Given these variables, it’s challenging to provide a specific cost without knowing the exact requirements of the pallet racking system. Typically, it’s best to request quotes from multiple suppliers and compare pricing based on your specific needs and budget constraints. Additionally, consider the long-term benefits of investing in a durable and reliable pallet racking system that meets your storage needs efficiently and safely.