Earthquakes in Ohio?

Posted on Jun 12, 2019

Many of you may be aware of the 4.0 magnitude earthquake that recently hit the Cleveland, Ohio area. That’s right – Cleveland! If you think the area you live in can’t have an earthquake, so did people in Cleveland.

How would your warehouse rack perform if it happened in your area? With seismic requirements increasing in many parts of the country and with a better understanding of structural performance during an earthquake event, standards will continue to evolve, placing more demand on the rack design.

Per our in-house industry expert Arlin Keck PE, “Old habits are hard to break. Unfortunately, that also pertains to old perceptions.  Many of us remember when the only time that seismic design was considered was for installations going into California (and possibly the St. Louis – Memphis corridor).  As the recent earthquake in Lake Erie illustrated, that is no longer the case.  When purchasing new storage racks, it behooves the end user to choose a rack manufacturer (that) is an R-Mark certified member of the Rack Manufacturers Institute, to design your racking system to assure that the structure is seismic-compliant.”

The Rack Manufacturers Institute (RMI) Standard is the recognized U.S. specification for the design, testing, and utilization of industrial steel storage racks. Responsible rack users will want to demonstrate that their racks meet this recognized standard for seismic design. RMI created the R-Mark Certification Program as a way for storage rack users and customers to clearly identify those rack manufacturers whose components and design are in accordance with the RMI Specifications. Steel King® is one of 22 rack manufactures that holds an active R-Mark License.

Another consideration is that one of the continuing trends within warehousing includes automation – in the form of both pick modules and automated storage and retrieval systems. Both systems raise the stakes of a potential rack collapse – in terms of expensive equipment and the lives of people working within the structure.

Rack systems should be designed, manufactured, installed and used in accordance with seismic requirements for maximum safety.

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