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AS4084 – Australian Pallet Racking Standards Explained

What is Australian Standard AS 4084

and what does it mean for your Australian warehouse?

The Australian Standard AS4084 refers to the set of guidelines and specifications for steel storage racking systems. The most recent update to this standard is AS 4084:2023, which outlines the requirements for the design, operation, and maintenance of steel storage racking.

It is split into two parts: Design (AS 4084.1:2023) and Operations (AS 4084.2:2023). This standard applies to adjustable, static pallet racking made of cold-formed or hot-rolled steel structural members and includes mandatory annual inspections, identification of new damage types, changes in signage requirements, and the introduction of the notion of a Competent Person for design, annual inspections, and repairs and maintenance.

Pallet Racking Safety and Compliance

Does my pallet racking need to comply with Australian Standards AS4084?

Yes, your pallet racking needs to comply with AS4084 if it falls within the scope of the standard. AS4084 is the Australian Standard for Steel Storage Racking. It sets out the basic rules for designing, building, testing, and maintaining pallet racking systems.

All racking purchased on or after 2012 must comply with AS4084:

  • For racking bought before 2012, compliance in not required – providing the racking remains in its original position. Racking can be upgraded to meet AS4084:2012 standards with relatively little expense however, unless it is pre-1993 standard.
  • The standard applies to “adjustable, static pallet racking made of cold-formed or hot-rolled steel structural members”.
  • Regular pallet racking inspections are recommended to ensure compliance with AS4084:2012. Inspections should be conducted at least once every 12 months by a competent person.
  • The recent update to the standard, AS4084:2023, has introduced new requirements, including the mandatory requirement for audits to be conducted every 12 months by an external provider.

Therefore, to ensure safety, and compliance with legal requirements, and to avoid potential penalties, it is crucial that your pallet racking system adheres to the relevant AS4084 standards.

What are the differences between AS4084-2012 and AS4084-2023?

The differences between AS4084-2012 and AS4084-2023 are significant and mainly revolve around changes in requirements for design, operation, maintenance, and responsibilities.

Here are some key variations highlighted in the updated AS4084-2023 standard compared to the previous AS4084-2012:

  • Split into Two Parts: AS4084-2023 is divided into two sections: Part 1 for Design and Part 2 for Operation and Maintenance, providing a more detailed framework for compliance.
  • Responsibilities: The new standard emphasises that the ongoing safety of storage equipment is the responsibility of the end user. It specifies that regular inspections must be conducted to ensure compliance with specifications and that damage is reported, documented, and rectified.
  • Audits: AS4084-2023 mandates audits to be conducted every 12 months by an external provider, moving away from the previous practice where some businesses performed internal audits.
  • Competent Person Requirement: The updated standard introduces the concept of a Competent Person who should handle the design, annual inspections, repairs, and maintenance of storage racking systems.
  • New Damage Types: AS4084-2023 identifies new damage types and clarifies existing ones, enhancing safety measures and inspection protocols.
  • Signage Requirements: Changes in signage requirements allow for alternate ways to demonstrate the load-carrying capacities of racking systems, ensuring clearer communication of safety information.
  • Clarifications on Usage: The new standard clarifies requirements for racking used outdoors, disallows re-working of racking elements, and provides clarity on using non-OEM equipment.
  • Annual Inspections: The standard stresses the importance of annual inspections by a competent person to ensure compliance with safety standards and regulations.

These changes reflect an increased focus on safety, accountability, and regular maintenance to ensure that steel storage racking systems meet the necessary standards for safe operation within warehouses or storage facilities.

Safety of pallet racking is an essential consideration.

HOW CAN I ENSURE MY STEEL STORAGE PALLET RACKING SYSTEM IS COMPLIANT WITH AS4084-2023?

To ensure that your steel storage racking system is compliant with AS4084-2023, you should make sure that you consider the following:


Regular Inspections

Conduct regular inspections to ensure that the racking system is being used as specified, and that any damage is reported, documented, and rectified.


Documentation

Maintain records of all inspections and repairs related to the racking system as required by the standard. This includes copies of all reports and repair logs.


Training

Provide appropriate training to end users on the correct usage and maintenance of the racking system. Have user manuals available on-site.


Signage

Ensure load signs are permanent and corrosion-resistant, and show essential information like unit load limit, beam load limit, bay load limit, designer’s name, manufacturer’s name, installation date, etc.


Clearance and Spacing

Adhere to specifications regarding the clearance from pallets to beams, the flue space between pallets, and the number of ground anchors per base plate for any racks serviced by mechanical devices.


Consultation

If you are in any in doubt about compliance or the changes that are needed, seek guidance from manufacturers or structural engineers for audits and necessary adjustments to meet AS4084-2023 standards.

How can I get my pallet racking certified to Australian Standards AS4084?

 

To get your pallet racking certified to the Australian Standards AS4084, follow these steps:

Key Steps
What you need to do
Conduct an Annual Safety Inspection

Arrange for a pallet racking safety inspection at least once every 12 months by a competent person or organization. This is the minimum requirement to comply with the AS4084-2023 Australian Standard.

Hire a Qualified Inspector

Engage a professional inspection service that specializes in pallet racking systems. They should be knowledgeable about the AS4084-2023 standards and capable of identifying any compliance issues, damage, or risks associated with your racking system.

Review Compliance Reports

After the inspection, you will receive a report detailing any issues of non-compliance, damage, or recommendations for ensuring your pallet racking system meets the AS4084-2023 standards. This report may also include a certification of compliance if no issues are found.

Rectify Issues and Damage

If the inspection report identifies any non-compliance issues or damage, take immediate action to rectify these issues. This may involve repairs, adjustments, or even replacements of parts of your racking system.

Maintain Documentation and Signage

Ensure that all necessary documentation is up to date and that load signs are clearly displayed and accurate, as required by the standard. This includes information on the maximum unit load and total rated capacity for each bay.

Follow Racking Manufacturer's Instructions

Make sure that any modifications or repairs to the racking system are carried out in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and approved by a competent person. Unauthorised modifications can affect the structural integrity of the system.

Provide Training and Procedures

Implement and maintain proper training and procedures for staff to report risks or damage to the pallet racking. This helps in maintaining the integrity of the racking system and ensuring ongoing compliance.

Hold Pallet Racking Certification Letter

Once your pallet racking system is compliant, and all repairs or adjustments have been made, you should receive a Compliance Letter or Certificate of Compliance from the inspection service. This document is valid until your next annual inspection.

Do Regular Internal Inspections

It's important to conduct regular internal checks on your racking system to ensure ongoing compliance and monitor its condition. Along with the annual professional inspections, these checks can help you stay on top of any issues and prevent potential accidents or failures. Don't neglect this important aspect of warehouse safety!

If you have any questions about AS4084 complaince, what it means for your company and how you could ensure that your warehouse operations are compliant, just ask us at Erect-A-Rack. We have a range of pallet racking solutions that suit a wide range of industrial storage uses.