Health and safety is an essential aspect of any industrial workplace. Without routine inspections and maintenance, pallet racking can be an accident waiting to happen. Even the highest-quality pallet racking needs to be inspected regularly otherwise small issues could escalate and lead to an accident.
The best racking needs to be durable to maintain its quality in the long-term. This allows it to store heavy-duty goods without the risk of the whole storage system collapsing. Pallet racking inspection highlights potential problems such as loose nuts and bolts, which could eventually affect the structural stability of the pallet racking.
Damage to the support system, posts, or pallets themselves could also occur if a forklift knocks into the racking. It doesn’t have to be a massive crash, even slight bumps can accumulate and lead to problems. This is why any warehouse owners or staff in charge of warehouse logistics should implement regular inspections and proactive maintenance.
To ensure pallet racking is as safe as possible inside an industrial workplace it needs to be installed by a professional full fit-out service. Using an expert installation service reduces the risk of accidents occurring later down the line. Working with a specialist company also ensures all pallet racking regulations are followed, this is important for health and safety but also to avoid breaking the law.
Who Is SEMA?
SEMA is the storage equipment manufacturers association and is a UK based governing body. The organisation focuses on and specialises in the design, supply, and installation of adjustable pallet racking systems.
According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) standards, workplaces should purchase racking from a SEMA approved racking inspector or an organisation that follows their guidelines stringently. SEMA regularly updates and publishes its guidelines annually to keep organisations well-informed of the latest best practises.
The Importance Of Pallet Racking Inspections
Regular pallet racking inspections are required under the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974). The act states that:
‘All adjustable pallet racking falls under the category of work equipment, which must be maintained and inspected on a regular basis’.
The purpose of these inspections is to ensure the safety of all staff within the workplace. Business owners have legal responsibilities to protect their employees, reduce the risk of accidents, and ensure the quality of their pallet storage systems. Pallet racking needs to comply with health and safety guidelines, not only to adhere to regulations but ensure the best warehouse safety standards are followed.
Within every warehouse, a person responsible for racking safety (PRRS) should be nominated to look after the racking and arrange regular inspections. It’s also essential that one SEMA approved racking inspection occurs every 12 months to comply with the law.
Any problems found by the inspector will be highlighted to the PRRS. From there it’s their responsibility to fix the issues that have been discovered. This is the minimum requirement, however, it’s best practice to conduct regular checks of any pallet racking systems throughout the year.
Guide To Racking Inspections
These are areas to check during any routine pallet racking check:
- The dimensions of the system as well as the warehouse’s size.
- How much activity occurs in the storage area every day.
- What operational equipment, such as forklifts or specialist handling equipment, is in use.
- What are the ambient conditions inside the warehouse?
- How qualified are the staff and what is their skill level?
Different Levels Of Inspection
There are 3 levels of inspection stated in the HSE racking inspection guidelines:
Level 1 – Immediate Reporting
At this level any damaged or defective warehouse racking needs to be reported. Any established safety procedures must be communicated to staff at this point to ensure they’re still using the storage systems safely.
Level 2 – Visual Inspections
HSE guidelines recommended warehouse owners conduct weekly racking inspections. Alternatively, inspections can occur at regular intervals by the PRRS. Before any inspections take place a risk assessment should be completed which then allows those responsible to create a schedule for inspections.
Level 3 – Expert Inspections
Level 3 inspections must occur once a year and are carried out by SEMA approved racking inspector (SARI). After the level 3 inspection, the SARI will pass on a report to the PRRS which highlights any problems that require action.
Benefits Of Regular Pallet Racking Inspections
The biggest benefit of regular inspections of pallet racking is small issues are found and dealt with immediately. Without checking for faults or damage frequently, problems can escalate and become large issues that cause serious accidents. Inspections by pallet racking experts ensure the risk of accidents in your warehouse is minimised.
It’s not only for health and safety reasons that inspections are useful. When damage is left unfixed for an extended time, it can grow and become an issue that costs thousands to fix. Warehouse owners may have to replace the damaged pallet storage system entirely. Instead of risking expensive repairs and replacements, book proactive maintenance focused on finding problems before they become expensive.
SEC Storage Pallet Racking
At SEC Storage, we provide a variety of high-quality pallet racking systems including push-back racking, cantilever racking, and drive-in racking. Every racking system we provide is designed and installed to help your business improve its storage needs. We take a data-driven approach for every warehouse installation we deliver to ensure it’s tailor-made for your workplace.
Discover innovative pallet racking that optimises your storage space, fill in an enquiry form on our contact page.