Frequently Asked Questions

Everything you need to know, warts and all. Honest answers from our experts.

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Do we even need a Rack Inspection?

Put simply – YES!

OK in reality it’s not so simple but to put it in plain terms, Pallet racking, Cantilever racking and shelving are considered as work equipment and to comply with ‘Health & Safety at Work Act 1974’ & ‘Provision and Use Of Work Equipment Regulations 1998’ a minimum annual inspection by a ‘Technically Competent Person’ is required.

Although many people say it HAS to be a SEMA Approved Inspector, otherwise called a SARI – (SEMA Approved Rack Inspector) this is still a grey area. However HSE do recognise SEMA and SARI’s as being highly knowledgeable and qualified within the storage industry and as such are a ‘Technically Competent Person’.

Still don’t think you need an inspection?

Well answer this…

If in the case of an incident, would your Safe Systems of Work, Inspection Procedures or even your paper trail comply in the face of HSE or even a Judge in court?

Don’t forget as an employer YOU have a duty of care to your employees under a myriad of laws.

Who are this SEMA organisation anyway?

They are the ‘Storage Equipment Manufacturers Association’

They write and publish the guidelines that include every aspect of racking from Design Codes right through to Inspection Guidelines.

Notice the words Codes and Guidelines, well that’s exactly what they are but and here’s the big BUT, the HSE refer to SEMA for advice and guidance where storage equipment is concerned.

Any Notice issued by the HSE is directly in conjunction with SEMA guidelines. Even ‘HSG76 Warehousing and storage A guide to health and safety’, a HSE publication refers to SEMA EIGHTEEN times, one refers to being expert inspectors.

Still not convinced?

SEMA have been around since 1968, they have a wealth of minds and experience within this field so they know what they are talking/writing about.

Let’s be honest, they have HSE to advise after all.

So why a SARI (SEMA Approve Rack Inspector)?

Isn’t that going to be expensive?

Depends what you deem expensive, from as little as £200.00 RISC SARI’s can inspect your facility, compare this to racking up (see what we did there) legal fees, fines, costs, compensation or even PRISON in the event of a potential incident, which one would you pick?

For inspectors to achieve their SARI qualification they are required to undertake an intensive training course and to successfully complete both a written examination and practical assessment. The qualified inspector must also commit to a programme of on-going CPD (Continuous Professional Development) to maintain this qualification. The SARI qualification is after all recognized by the HSE as a ‘Technically Competent Person’

A SARI? But I can do it!

Yes you probably could, but…

Let’s refer back to ‘HSG76 Warehousing and storage A guide to health and safety’ and the expert inspectors, lest we not forget ‘Health & Safety at Work Act 1974’ & ‘Provision and Use Of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and the technically competent person’.

Do you fit the bill?

So how often do I need an inspection?

To be compliant, the answer is at LEAST annually.

However there maybe times that more frequent inspections are necessary and for example at peak/seasonal times where pressure and pallet movements increase.

Annual is required, often is better! It is considered Best Practice to have a ‘Person Responsible for Racking Safety’ on site, after having undertaken some form of Racking Safety Awareness Course to enable them to understand your racking and educated in the requirements to carry out in-house inspections, as well as understand the legal requirements. Carrying out inspections on a planned frequent basis gives a full understanding of issues and even repetitive areas of damage which, with education, can be eliminated quickly and in most cases quite simply.

So once a year it is then as that’s all I need to do!

To be compliant YES

However are you happy with loaded pallets sitting in the racking with MHE operating in the area that are only checked every 365 days?

What should I get from my inspection?

Well that’s depends on who you speak to

Some companies answer that question with what service they provide. But as we are being open and honest a good inspection will adhere to SEMA’s ‘Guide to conduct of Pallet Racking & Shelving Inspections – December 2017’.

As far as a RISC inspection goes, a friendly qualified SARI will arrive on your site at the pre-arranged time, they will familiarise themselves with the facility and your Health & Safety policies whilst adhering to all PPE requirements. A full visual inspection will be conducted from ground level (unless an inspection at height is required) detailing the manufacture and full specification of the racking along with recording any issues that arise during the inspection. This might be impact from MHE, lighting levels, or generalized housekeeping issues. RISC is the ONLY Company to date that WILL leave a FULL report IMMEDIATELY on completion of the inspection (some limitations apply).

As SEMA approved Inspectors we follow the industry standards for damage tolerances along with SEMA’s classification of:-

RED – Issues that need IMMEDIATE attention.
AMBER – Damage/Issues that require action within 4 weeks.
GREEN – Identified damage/issues that require monitoring.

But all this will be explained in detail at the inspection de-briefing with our inspector whilst reading the FULL report

Sounds very long winded for a bit of racking!

Maybe so but think about the weights that are being stored within your racking system, there are many videos on the internet that show racking collapses, please don’t let the next video be yours.

A professional service that gives the best advice and an easy to read detailed report is priceless so make sure your get the best you can afford at the time.

So what do I do after the inspection?

Obviously deal with the RED classifications immediately as advised by your Inspector!

Depending on the report findings it maybe that you have to do nothing or racking repairs and issue rectifications may be needed, we can even help with that too.

Although RISC operate as an Independent Inspection company we do have a sister company that can advise on repairs, alterations or solutions to any issues, all just a question away.

What if I do nothing?

Burying your head is a very short term dodge

The cost to bring your system up to the manufacturer’s and SEMA standards may not be very much at all, or it could seem a little frightening but let’s again put that into context with an incident, the cost to the company in both legal fees and publicity and the sleepless nights due to ‘The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007’.

After all it could be YOU in the dock!

How do I become a ‘Person Responsible for Racking Safety’?

There are many courses out there being offered by all sorts of companies.

But we advise it’s worth investigating exactly what you’re getting for your ‘buck’ as each varies in time and depth of information.

We at RISC offer a ‘Racking Safety Awareness‘ course that covers all aspects of Pallet Racking, Legal aspects, incidents and the inspection of racking with all the documentation included.

All our staff have attended the course, RISC even sent our IT department on the course, want to see what they said – Read what they though about our Rack Safety Awareness Course

Want to know more about our courses?

Check the availability of a course at our traning centre or to arrange on-site training at your own facility get in touch.

But we can’t take anyone out of the business for a day?

We know that a day in the life of a business is a long time to be without someone, however let’s look at it another way.

One day out of 365 that could reduce issues to your racking which will reduce costs and the potential for injury and incidents, still think a day is too long?