Anti-seismic warehouses: Safety is not optional
Safety at work is a value companies have become increasingly aware of in recent years. This involves also the storage and handling of materials. The need for anti-seismic structures is a key issue in Italy, and also in other countries: adequate prevention and safety systems must be provided to limit any damage to things and people resulting from an earthquake. The Ferretto Group has always put special focus on this aspect when designing both its racking and shelving systems and its automated storage and retrieval solutions.
Safety: An investment for the future
Efficiency, space optimization, productivity go hand in hand with safety. It does not matter whether we talk about shelving, self-supporting storage systems, automated warehouses or vertical lift modules (VLMs): adequate safety and prevention systems are never an option, but rather an investment for the present and the future.
Italy: A seismic country
Italy is one of the countries in the Mediterranean with the highest seismic risk, which is shown by the frequent earthquakes that have affected its territory over the centuries and by the intensity of some of them, with the consequent social and economic impact. The Italian peninsula has amedium-high level of seismic risk, due to the fragility of its architectural heritage and its infrastructural, industrial and production system. The risk and the seismic consequences are therefore not negligible, even for companies. Here are the seismic hazard maps of Italy.
Evolving earthquake regulations
More than 30,000 earthquakes of medium and strong intensity have affected the Italian peninsula over approximately 2500 years, and in the last forty years, damage and economic repercussions have resulted in a loss of around 135 billion Euros. Abruzzo 2009, Emilia Romagna 2012, Marche and Umbria 2016 are just the most recent and dramatic episodes. These tragedies have led to rapid and significant regulatory changes with a considerable impact on building standards and on the shelving and material handling industry.
Safety and health in the workplace: The employer’s responsibility
Legislative Decree 81 of 2008 has certainly been one of the milestones in safety regulations establishing, among other things, that the employer is required to assess the risks in the workplace and to take measures to eliminate or minimize them. It is worth noting that, while currently there are no earthquake requirements for shelving systems, there are mandatory design standards for automatic freestanding storage systems. The situation is less defined forvertical lift modules, which are still classified as machines (and not as vertical storage structures).
Earthquake protection for the warehouse
Whether for shelving, vertical, automated or self-supporting storage systems, earthquake protection always starts at the design stage. Design must not be limited to the study of the system to be developed and must involve the entire structure: from the characteristics of the soil substrate to the flooring, from the connection to the ground to the overall weight of the system consisting of shelving and stored material. In the structural calculation, in fact, the mass of the shelving, the mass of the stored materials and the characteristics of the latter must be considered: a pallet of bottled water behaves very differently from a pallet of paper.
The Ferretto Group vertical lift module Vertimag EF
Aware of the fundamental importance of safety in a company and supported by its significant experience in automatic and static storage systems, the Ferretto Group has very precise objectives. It has invested in anti-seismic design since long, keeping to the highest standards established by national and regional directives, as well as by insurance companies. This has allowed us to anticipate regulatory changes and to develop the Vertimag EF, an automated vertical storage system that meets specific earthquake requirements even in the standard version. This solution is designed to withstand the statistically probable stresses expected across 70% of Italy, reaching 100% coverage in the Atlas version.
The utmost attention, from design to installation
Aiming to offer custom-made solutions that meet the necessary safety requirements, Ferretto Group has set up a Structural Calculation Office. This division, which employs ten engineers with the necessary training and continuing education and is equipped with specific instrumentation and software programs, deals with the design phase. Special attention is paid also to the installation and assembly operations, for which we rely on a network of certified partners or, in the most complex cases, internal staff that manages and supervises all operations on site.