How do you know if your racking is safe? Looking from the warehouse floor it’s easy to assume that everything is in good working order but ask our team of Racking Inspectors and they will easily tell you a different story.
A good system is normally associated with installations that have well manufactured products which are properly designed, correctly installed, regularly inspected and maintained in good condition. But in SEMA’s experience good installations do NOT come by chance which is why SEMA is actively working to improve the professionalism of storage equipment installation companies through the SAIC group initiative.
Raising the bar
The SAIC initiative is for installation companies who are keen to develop safety standards and take a proactive approach to the development of this sector within the industry. They must work to appropriate policies, maintain correct procedures and retain formal documentation.
To become a SAIC member company there is a rigorous application process and a member’s credentials must fulfil exacting criteria. SAICs manage installation projects to SEMA’s QA standards.
Continuing the drive to ensure companies adhere to their strict standards, SAICs must also submit to an independently audited QA process. In 2016 SAIC members followed in the footsteps of SEMA Distributor Companies in offering up their businesses to an in-depth quality audit. The rigorous process, repeated every three years, is designed to drive standards and measure the company’s ability to meet customer requirements and deliver a quality service. The audit covers legal and regulatory compliance which checks policies, insurances, internal record keeping and training. The process evaluates a SAIC’s management system, the control of non-conforming products and services and assesses the member’s health and safety controls. It will review how a SAIC manages installers, their licences, qualifications, training and workmanship. Finally, it will consider how each member communicates with its customers, handles feedback and measures customer satisfaction.
The second round of audits only started towards the end of 2019, but initial results are already showing significant improvements with members increasing their scores to achieve the Highly Commended standard.
As well as committing to regular audits, SEMA also expects SAIC companies to use installers (including subcontract labour) who are SEIRS qualified. In a drive to maintaining high standards within the industry, SEIRS is launching an updated installation training programme. The new training scheme, which is split into two parts, continues to reinforce the health & safety requirements of racking but now with extra emphasis on practical installation skills.
The Foundation Course, aimed at installers new to the industry, is a 1-day classroom-based course covering Health & Safety legislation and installation skills. After successfully completing the installer will receive a SEIRS trainee card which is valid for 6 months.
The second part is a 2-day intensive course which will complete the installers training to SEIRS diploma standard. Before starting a pre-qualification is required in the form of either a CITB Health, Safety & Environment test or a MEWPs 3A/3B qualification. Trainees will be assessed throughout day two of the course and on passing receive a diploma and full SEIRS card which is valid for 3 years.
The SEIRS training programme is formally recognised by the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) as part of their Partner Card Scheme and meets the Construction Leadership Council requirements. Installers of storage equipment should maintain an in date SEIRS card in order to renew their CSCS status where that applies.
Why Risk It?
For peace of mind, SAIC businesses should be your first choice when looking for a storage equipment installation company. As a measure of compliance with quality standards, SAICs are entitled to display their current certificate and to use the SAIC logo on their company literature. Something to look out for.
Make sure that your installer meets the high standards of SEMA and always ask for their credentials. End users are recommended to use the checklist below as a guide when purchasing storage systems.
- Are the HSE’s correct health & safety measures are in place?
- Are risk assessments and method statements (RAMS) issued on every job?
- Is the SAIC company using only SEIRS trained and qualified installers?
- Are projects correctly designed to the SEMA or other approved Code of Practice?
- Will the project be able to display a SEMA load notice?
- Does the company have appropriate insurance policies and up to date industry standards and legislation?