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“Acrow – Safety conscious culture”

ACROW has, for many years, marketed “safe” storage equipment. ACROW has, for many years, marketed “safe” storage equipment.

ACROW has, for many years, marketed “safe” storage equipment, while even being critised for being over specified and expensive.

However, John Catchpole, National Sales Manager for Acrow says, “The fact remains that Acrow racking and shelving has, to this day, still outlasted other systems in the marketplace, despite some serious instances of outright abuse.”

Acrow has developed a “safety culture” and to this end advises it’s clients of any unsafe practices and will conduct Safety Audits wherever necessary, to report on any damaged storage equipment. Typical instances are excessive damage to Rack frames by Forklift trucks weakening the bases, thus reducing the carrying capacity of the frame, this can lead to a collapse with possible domino effect to adjacent racking.

Another instance can be when a racking system has been designed and installed to customers’ requirements without consideration to future expansion of the system. Then, some years down the line, the racking is require to carry more in the way of frame extensions and additional levels of beams and pallets exceeding the frame capacity, thus causing a potential overload accident.

A racking system can be designed to carry 1,000kg pallets, but some time later the supplier has changed the packing configuration on the pallet and the load goes up to 1,250kg this can often be just enough to overload the beams and/or frames in the system.

Potential buyers of racking should also be very wary of second-hand equipment in the market as they don’t know what the original usage was, and any such material should be down-specced by at least 30%. Try to get to see the equipment in its original state prior to any “refurbishment,” check all-welding for cracks and degradation. Most important is that any new welding done by the refurbisher should be to the same spec and quantity as the original manufacturer used.

In most cases we see that damages are caused by handling equipment operating in cramped aisles and passages, wherever possible allow for more generous operating spaces and don’t go for the minimum, as this invariably causes trouble.

Acrow remains committed to a safe working environment and that means producing the correctly designed racking for our South African conditions.

The following are comments from our experienced staff members with regard to safety:

Craig Annandale reports that on a call out to a rack collapsed due to the condition of their frames. The Bottom 1,500mm of the frames were badly battered by poor forklift driving, another contributing factor was that in some places the bolted frames were shimmed up to 20mm, which had a “guillotine” effect on the floor anchors and sheared off several off the anchors, and these were never replaced.

This all could have been avoided if a monthly inspection of the condition of the racking was carried out.

A middleman asked us for extension frames to extend existing racking. “We assumed this company knew what they were doing. We manufactured the requested components necessary for the extension and delivered the job, only to get a call in the following few days that the extension frames do not fit properly. I then went to site to investigate. We found that not only had he ordered a 900mm extensions for a 914mm “base frame,” which was in fact an extension frame which was installed upside down with the spiggots facing up in the air. He then proceeded to install our extension frames upside down and could not understand why the timber decks kept falling through the racking.” 
Moral of the story: Make sure the so-called “racking agent” has experience in the industry.

Furthermore, Craig reports that:

  • Customer safety and satisfaction was a major factor contributing to its large success rate.
  • Many customer requirements were met due to high demand and diversity. These scenarios were tackled with precise and good all round service, starting from the sales and manufacturing right through to installation of equipment by installers.
  • Acrow did not only meet the customer’s demands but also offered ideas and solutions to ensure the customer’s needs were met.
  • Many Existing Racking installations were also inspected this year and Acrow offered the best advice and tested all possible factors with regard to racking to ensure the safety of Acrow products.
  • Careful planning and strict measures were taken into consideration in each job. From the operating environment and load capacities to structure/building details and hazard issues. These were all factors, which lead to the success of Acrow racking and shelving.
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