10 Ways to Use Rack Sacks in the Warehouse

rack sacks

Rack sacks are industrial-strength polyester bags that can be deployed to your warehouse and hung on the end units of your pallet racks to collect garbage. Essentially rack sacks are reusable industrial-strength garbage bags.

Need to order rack sacks for your customers? Learn more or contact us at [email protected]

Here are 10 ways to use rack sacks in the warehouse:

Here are several ways to employ rack sacks in your warehouse or industrial facility.

  1. Rack sacks are heavy-duty bags that can hold 5.6 cubic feet (160 L ) of garbage so they are ideal for general purpose drop points for general trash use
  2. Racksacks come with various symbols on them so they can be used to segregate recycled materials.
  3. Rack sacks are made from reinforced double-stitched polyester so they can be use to hold sharp-edged garbage like broken glass or splintered pallet racks.
  4. They are ideal as a repository for debris that can be a tripping hazard for pedestrians in a work house or can be an obstruction for warehouse equipment such as pallet jacks or forklifts
  5. Racksacks are waterproof so they can be used to hold wet or soiled garbage and can be hosed out easily to keep them clean when emptied.
  6. Rack sacks are ideal if you want to dedicate some to hold used or offcut shrink wrap.
  7. Rack sacks come in color-coded designs for a variety of use-specific deployments.
  8. They are versatile so they can be attached to warehouse racking, shelving, trolleys, roll cages, stillages, mobile steps, and many more.
  9. Rack sacks are great bags that can be used on delivery trucks or vans as a repository to keep cargo spaces free of garbage and debris.
  10. Rack sacks are toughly made so they can be used outside to collect landscaping organic waste, soil or other similar materials.

You can resell racks sacks in Canada and the USA by becoming a Lean Inc distributor. Contact us at [email protected]

Forklift Battery Maintenance Cost Calculator

FORKLIFT BATTERY MAINTENANCE COST CALCULATOR

If you are trying to estimate the costs to maintain a forklift battery. look no further. This forklift battery maintenance cost calculator will model for you the costs that go into the proper maintenance of a forklift battery and a forklift battery charger.

The Cost to Water Forklift Batteries

Battery companies will water your batteries for a charge. Using competitive battery watering service pricing, our calculator will estimate the cost to water your batteries on a regular basis.

Batteries need watering based the charging schedule. Batteries require water because during the charging cycle, the charger breaks apart the bonds of the water molecule into its component parts of hydrogen and oxygen. Those gases then escape from the battery into the atmosphere reducing the amount of water in the battery.

Your battery maintnenance technician then returns the water to each cell roughly every 2-weeks, but as often as every week in busy work applications.

The Cost to Repair Battery and Charger Connectors and Cables

Every time a forklift battery is charged, the charger and forklift connectors are inserted into each other to begin the charging process. Once the charge connection is complete, the cables are separated. Often, operators pull the connectors apart by the cables, damaging the cable insulation, the charger wire tips, and putting stress on the SB connectors. If the operator drops the connectors to the ground after the charging even, the connectors risk cracking, and the cables risk being damaged by forklifts rolling over the cables. We estimate that the cost to keep connectors and cables in good repair is $130/year. You can change this amount up or down.

Annual Battery Wash

Companies that perform regular battery washes save money in the long run. When acid escapes from the battery cells, it accumulates between the cells, at the bottom of the tray, and on the edges of the tray. Over time, it cause the tray to corrode and weaken. That is why many companies elect to wash their batteries.

Forklift Charger Maintenance

Many forklift and charger service companies offer an annual charger service. This usually involves an inspection and blowing out the cabinet. It is usually a good idea to have your chargers inspected regularly.

How to Inspect and Maintain Storage Racks in the Warehouse

Loading and unloading warehouse racking has inherent safety risks, but rack can become more dangerous when it is not properly inspected, used, and maintained. Learn more about storage rack inspection and maintenance below.

WHY IS STORAGE RACK INSPECTION AND MAINTENANCE IMPORTANT?

Although designed to withstand heavy loads, racking is susceptible to wear and tear especially when forklift equipment may collide with its components.

It is not uncommon for forklifts to accidentally hit and cause damage to rack. Overloading or improperly loading racking can also accelerate wear and tear, increasing the chances of rack damage.

Proper inspection and maintenance help ensure that the storage rack is in good shape and used correctly. It can also help avoid problems before they happen. For example, persistent improper storage can increase the chances of products falling or damaging the rack. This can lead to a collapse, or the rack needs to be replaced. However, damage can be reduced significantly by catching improper storage procedures early on.

Rack inspection and maintenance are crucial to secure merchandise, verify the integrity of the racking, and ultimately to keep workers safeThis is also required under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines in the U.S. The guidelines ensure that warehouses provide appropriate working conditions, and rack safety is essential to consider when doing so. 

HOW TO INSPECT AND MAINTAIN STORAGE RACKS

There are many things to consider when improving rack safety. Below are tips for inspecting and maintaining storage racks effectively.

CHOOSE THE BEST FIT FOR THE OPERATION

Storage rack is widely used in warehouses across the world. Therefore, many companies manufacture them, and it can be challenging to choose the right one.

One of the first things to consider is that the storage rack complies with health and safety regulations. Regulations may vary depending on the country, state, warehouse size, etc., so it is crucial to determine this before purchase. It is also essential to ensure the rack will work optimally in the designated area and alongside other departments and that the installation process is accurate and efficient. Things like floor dimensions, size, specifications, colors, etc., should also be considered.

Documentation can prove that the installed racking complies with regulations, but employers may choose to have a Pre-Start Health and Safety Review (PSR) conducted. This involves safety inspectors and engineers coming into the facility to assess the overall safety standards of equipment and procedures. PSRs can provide an extra layer of protection for workers and equipment.

If the choice is narrowed down between a few options, checking reviews, asking for recommendations, comparing features and cost breakdown, etc., can aid in the final decision.

INSPECT AND MAINTAIN RACKING REGULARLY

Safety standards must always be followed, but if there is a large gap between inspections, it is easier to miss potential flaws or damages to racking. And this may increase the risk of workplace injuries or fatalities. A way to combat this is to have inspections regularly.

It is wise to have workers do quick inspections and maintenance checks frequently, and any issues to be noted and fixed as soon as possible. Scheduling annual inspections with a professional is also vital. This allows for a more thorough inspection and ensures racking is safe and up-to-date. Professionals can also provide recommendations on how to improve safety further. Professional reviews should occur at least once a year or once every six months.  

INSPECT WITH CARE

Storage rack consists of several components, so there is a lot to consider in an inspection. Focusing on certain aspects that pose higher safety risks can be an excellent start. Examples include:

  • Type of rack
  • How long the rack has been used
  • What the rack is used for
  • How old other warehouse equipment is (e.g., forklifts)
  • If the rack is in good shape
  • How often maintenance is carried out

It is also essential to inspect the entire racking area and surrounding workspaces. Doing this ensures that safety is a priority across all departments. It also provides an opportunity to identify current or potential inefficiencies and business interruptions.

ENSURE PROPER USAGE

One of the most common incidents with racking is overloading or improper loading. This can result in rack collapses, it can damage goods, and cause worker-related injuries. This can be combated by ensuring all employees have proper training and certifications. The employer must provide thorough training and access to necessary materials and information (e.g., manuals, tools, data sheets, etc.). Workers should also be encouraged to speak up if they are unsure about certain aspects of their job and if they need help performing tasks.

INSTALL ADDITIONAL LAYERS OF PROTECTION

Forklifts and other warehouse machinery are commonly used for loading and unloading storage racks. Maneuvering large machinery, mainly if there is decreased visibility due to carrying loads in the front, is likely to result in minor or significant impacts. Racking is designed to withstand impacts, but repeated collisions may lead to structural issues over time. An excellent way to reduce damage is by installing rack protection and equipment. Examples include:

  • Upright/post guards or protectors  
  • Support beams
  • Column guards
  • Bumpers
  • Barriers

Learn more about rack protection products in the following article: What Rack Protection Products Can I Use to Protect My Pallet Rack in My Warehouse? 

Need Rack Repair? Use our Rack Repair Cost Calculator

Use our racking repair cost calculator to get an instant estimate on what it will cost to repair your rack.

Sustain, or Self-Discipline: The Final and Critical Step in the 5S Methodology

5S sustain

Sustain is the final step in the 5S methodology. It connects all the steps of the 5S system to maximize potential and efficiency. Here is a more in-depth look at this distinction:

WHAT DOES SUSTAIN OR SELF-DISCIPLINE MEAN IN THE 5S METHODOLOGY?

Sustain, which is sometimes labeled Sustained Discipline or Self-Discipline, is derived from the Japanese word Shitsuke (躾). The objective of this step is for Sort, Set in Order, Shine, and Standardize to be continuously practiced within the organization. This ensures the company maintains benefits from all 5S steps. 

This step’s success comes from developed habits. Repeat a task or process often, and it becomes automatic behavior. In the 5S system, this is achieved through ongoing observation, training, and evaluation. The goal is for the system to become autonomous. The problem is this is not always easily or instantly achieved. 

TRAINING IS KEY TO THE SUSTAIN STEP

Training is a crucial part of the Sustain step in the 5S system. Supervisors and managers should ensure employees are receiving continuous training, especially when processes change or evolve. Employees, too, have to take the initiative. It is up to them to ensure they are comfortable with their training and vigilant about completing set tasks.

Management and employees together have responsibility for the Sustain step. The key is for management to continuously communicate to ensure the 5S process is fulfilled. Regular inspections can help support and enforce the standards.

Training of new employees in the 5S system ensures that standards are followed among recruits from their first day on the job. Existing employees benefit from a training program when it is first established and then regular refresher training and updates to any procedures, as needed.

MANAGEMENT RESPONSIBILITIES IN THE SUSTAIN STEP

In the Sustain step, managers are responsible for:

  • Setting standards and processes, including task lists and schedules for the previous 5S steps.
  • Introducing an audit process for 5S tasks.
  • Create training and certification.
  • Inspecting and enforcing 5S processes as workers learn new procedures.
  • Provide resources, including racks, cleaning supplies, repairs, signage, storage areas, and time allocated for cleaning.
  • Communicating the 5S message.
  • Encouraging continuous improvement by soliciting employee suggestions.
  • Schedule family visitor days to engage employee pride.

EMPLOYEE RESPONSIBILITIES IN THE SUSTAIN STEP

Employees are responsible for the following in the Sustain step:

  • Complete tasks as set out by their 5S training.
  • Help each other by visually inspecting each others’ work areas and providing support to each other in following procedures and assisting co-workers where it provides value.
  • Completing all processes and looking to make continuous improvements.
  • Participating and encouraging their work team and fellow employees.
  • Having pride in their work areas and owning the overall accomplishments achieved by following the 5S processes

Through these actions and responsibilities, the 5S processes become a habitual behavior. AS a result, benefits gained in each 5S step are maintained. Dedication to the process from all parties will help realize the Sustain step and the 5S methodology at work.

MORE LEAN 5S METHODOLOGY LINKS

Here are some more helpful links to help you learn about the 5S Methodology:

Standardize: The Fourth Step in the 5S Methodology

5s standardize

Standardize is the fourth step in the 5S methodology. It relates to the standardization of the first three processes in the 5S system – Sort, Set in Order, and Shine. Here is a closer look at the Standardize distinction.

WHAT DOES STANDARDIZE MEAN IN THE 5S METHODOLOGY?

Standardize is derived from the Japanese word Seiketsu (清潔). The purpose of the Standardize step is to obtain the benefit of practicing Seiri (Sort), Seiton (Set in order), and Seiso (Shine) continuously. 

In the 5S methodology, Standardize is the process of implementing the first three steps across all departments of an organization or business. And then, conform to a standard that is consistent throughout. 

Like the first three steps, standardization is an ongoing process that requires the involvement of all employees to be successful. One way to encourage employee involvement is to create a 5S committee to manage and support the system. The committee should consist of leaders from different work areas so that all parts of the company are well represented. 

ESTABLISH A 5S COMMITTEE

The 5S committee should start by meeting to discuss standardization processes. Working together, 5S leaders and other employees should establish an initial list of company-wide standards. Managers from different work areas should then have the chance to review and approve the suggestions. Once they are approved, the processes should be applied to the workplace. 

New processes must be shared with employees and posted in designated areas around the facility. A great way to communicate these changes is through visuals, such as signage or color-coding. 

Visuals convey information quickly and make it easier for employees to familiarize themselves with new standards and practices. However, employee training should also be provided on any changes to the current system.

Finally, the standards must be maintained, evaluated regularly, and kept up-to-date. Be sure to schedule meetings with all stakeholders to review the system. It is essential to pay attention to redundancies and eliminate unnecessary processes. Additionally, because the Standardize step is an application of the first three steps in the 5S system, each step should also be evaluated individually. This provides a full understanding of standardization needs. 

BENEFITS OF THE STANDARDIZE STEP: 

Here are some benefits of the Standardize process from the 5S methodology:

  • Consistency across all branches of the operation. 
  • Minimizes guesswork. When there is consistency, companies know what to expect and are more prepared to handle problems as they arise. 
  • Ensures that the company continuously reaps the benefits of sorting, order, and cleanliness.
  • Improvement in Morale. Employee input is always considered in all processes of the 5S system. This process demonstrates that the company values and respects worker opinions. 
  • Encourages accountability. Roles and responsibilities are clearly defined. Employees are well-trained and understand what is expected of them. 

THE STANDARDIZE STEP SHOULD BE A FLEXIBLE PROCESS

Standardization encourages consistency, but consistency does not mean all processes should be the same. In the 5S system, processes are designed to improve productivity and efficiency. If the system is adapted to achieve these goals, then the standards should be adjusted as well. Standarize is never a static process. It must be flexible and evolve accordingly. 

THE NEXT STEP IS SUSTAIN

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MORE LEAN 5S METHODOLOGY LINKS

Here are some more helpful links to help you learn about the 5S Methodology:

Shine: The Third Step in the 5S Methodology

5s shine

Shine is the third and often undervalued step in the 5S methodology. It relates to cleanliness and the absence of unnecessary dirt and debris.  Shine is a crucial part of Lean Management. Here is a look at how to implement the distinction in the workplace.

WHAT DOES SHINE MEAN IN THE 5S METHODOLOGY?

Shine is derived from the Japanese word Seiso (清掃). All materials, including equipment, tools and supplies, and work-related objects, should be examined and cleaned in this third step. 

Shine is the process of cleaning and maintaining all aspects of the work environment. The work environment should be free of dirt, debris, and other types of contaminants. Reducing or eliminating mess ensures that the work environment is as safe as possible. It allows for machinery and workers to operate productively and efficiently. 

Implementing Shine in the workplace is more than merely sweeping up dirt or mopping up a spill. It is an ongoing process that requires the foresight and vigilance of all staff. Employees need to understand what to clean, how to clean it, and how often. It is the natural progression that follows Sort, the removal of unnecessary items, and Set in order, the careful organization of the items that are necessary.

As with Sort and Set in order, Shine needs to be performed by the staff that works in the area. If the workers that create the mess are also responsible for cleaning up, the associates will start to show a different appreciation for the workplace. After all, we spend at least a third of our lives at work, why wouldn’t we want to work in an uncluttered, organized and clean environment?

HOW TO IMPLEMENT SHINE

To begin, identify and assess the work area. Define what the area looks like in its clean state and document it for comparison. Taking pictures is an excellent way to do this. It establishes a standard and makes it easier to notice when something has changed. 

Next, determine what messes are likely to happen and how to prevent them or react if they do happen. Equip work areas so that handling messes is simple. They should be fully stocked with appropriate cleaning supplies to clean them up. 

Train employees so they understand expectations around cleaning. Establish cleaning duties and define roles. Both checklists and schedules can support this. Checklists should be easy to follow and written so essential steps are clear. Schedules help identify what needs to be cleaned, when, how often, and by whom. These assign clear roles for employees and establish a productive cleaning routine. 

Establish the cleaning routine, then maintain and evaluated it. Employees need to understand what is working, what is not, and what can be done to improve the system. The cleaning system can then be adjusted accordingly. 

Employees who are responsible for shining their workplace take responsibility for not messing it up in the first place. If the schedule rotates through all employees, everyone is vigilant to ensure they are not creating unnecessary work for their colleagues to clean up. Their colleagues, it is hoped, will do the same for them.

BENEFITS OF THE SHINE STEP: 

Here are some benefits of the Shine process from the 5S methodology:

  • Improve safety. 
  • Reduce risks, injury, and worker compensation costs. 
  • Diagnose cleanliness issues proactively. 
  • Increase worker productivity by ensuring that there are no obstacles to efficient work processes.
  • Reduce manufacturing and maintenance costs. Regular cleaning keeps machines in working order, so they do not need to be fixed or replaced as frequently. 
  • Limit exposure to potential health hazards. 
  • Eliminate unnecessary clutter and waste, which frees up space for other work-related use. 
  • Creates accountability for the cleanliness of the workplace and ensures a 5S culture among the team members.

THE SHINE STEP SHOULD BE PROACTIVE 

The Shine step is an active process. Clean workspaces so that a mess doesn’t become a burden. The Shine step in 5S is designed as a preventative measure that is both active and anticipatory and not reactive. 

Regardless of the job, a messy workspace causes unnecessary stress. It is distracting; it can be unhealthy and can affect productivity and efficiency. So employees must be diligent when performing and evaluating the Shine step to ensure that a workspace is clean and well maintained. 

AFTER SHINE IS STANDARDIZE

Read about Standardize: The fourth step in the 5S methodology 

MORE LEAN 5S METHODOLOGY LINKS

Here are some more helpful links to help you learn about the 5S Methodology:

Set: The Second Step in the 5S Methodology

5S set in place

Set, Set in Place, or Set in Order, is the second step in the 5S methodology. It relates to orderliness, sequence, and placement of objects in a logical position.  Here is a deeper dive into this second 5S distinction.

WHAT DOES SET IN ORDER MEAN IN THE 5S METHODOLOGY?

Set in Order is derived from Seiton (整頓), which means “proper arrangement”. All materials, including equipment, tools and supplies, and as well as all work-related objects should be placed at optimal locations for ease of access by workers in a production environment. 

The objective in the Set in Order step is to be able to lay your hands on any given item, required for work or production, quickly and with ease. Everything should be stored for convenient access. 

HOW TO SET IN ORDER

In a workspace, everything has a place and everything is in its place with a designation and an indication. What this means is, if you have already completed the Sort process, where you have eliminated the items that are surplus and not needed, then what is left over is only the necessary items for the work at hand. Each necessary item will, therefore, be given a place, designated by a shadow, a cut-out or a taped off area that is roughly the same size as the object you are storing. Next to the designated area, there will be an indication. such as a label, that will the person working there where the item goes.

CONSIDERATIONS IN THE SET PROCESS

Store tools and materials where they will be used and not far away from the workers that will be using them. The more often an object is used, the closer it should be placed to where it will be used. Conversely rarely used tools and materials should be positioned or stored further away from the work environment. This reduces clutter and increases ease of movement for the most frequent tasks. 

Create ease of access. The path to an object should be unobstructed and logical. Eliminate the need for a worker to bend, stretch, overextend or overexert themselves unnecessarily to retrieve an item. 

If an object is heavy, it should be placed where a worker will not need to twist, maneuver or change direction when handling it. Pathways should also be straight, smooth easy to navigate and clear.

CREATE ZONES FOR STORAGE

Define three zones for storage: 

  • FREQUENTLY USED: Put the frequently-used tools and materials right on or at the workbench and ensure they are easy to reach and highly visible (lighting is important here). They should also be easy to return to their spot when no longer needed.
  • DAILY OR MONTHLY USAGE: Tools and materials that are only needed on occasion like daily, weekly or monthly can be kept in a location nearby, but not in the way. Racks are useful for this strategy, where tools are well labeled. Storage cabinets can also be used, but they should be visible from a workstation in a production environment.
  • RARELY USED: Store rarely used tools, parts, and materials away from the shop floor, perhaps in a well-organized storeroom. Use racks and cabinets with clear labels.

CONSIDER PRODUCTION SEQUENCING 

When evaluating the placement of tools and materials consider the production sequence. This will suggest where the logical position should be for any given tool or item. Frequency of use can dictate proximity. Bulk and shape will also suggest proximity. A hand tool should be stored above the worker’s waist. A large tool or object can be mounted or placed nearby if used frequently. There should be an easy interplay when a worker switches from one object to another for a task at hand or a sequenced task. All this will lend itself to the logical and efficient placement of items used.  

THE ADVANTAGES OF SET

When the Set step in the 5S methodology is done well, it will result in an organized workflow. Time is reduced in production. Tasks flow into each other. Flow is the objective. What comes out of this process is a new sense of efficiency and ease in which work can be completed. It also reduces stress for workers, provides for a safer workplace, and produces maximum efficiency

AFTER SET COMES SHINE IN 5S

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MORE LEAN 5S METHODOLOGY LINKS

Here are some more helpful links to help you learn about the 5S Methodology: