Safety in Racking – adopting a best practice approach is critical

Over the last couple of years demand for UK warehousing has seen a period of significant growth. Outside factors have changed buyer behaviour which in turn has seen warehouse spaces becoming bigger, the implementation of new fulfilment and distribution practices and a need to process orders seamlessly and quickly.

Racking plays a central role in achieving these goals within the warehouse. We cannot stress enough how adopting a best practice approach is critical to improving business performance.

As a warehouse owner you have a legal obligation to ensure that your racking is fit for purpose. This means it must be designed to the correct codes, installed using qualified staff and kept in good working order.

That is where the work of our SEMA members and initiatives plays a key role. They take out the leg work by combining their knowledge and expertise to cover the entire storage equipment supply chain. By using SEMA members, it demonstrates your commitment to safety knowing that your racking will be correctly designed, manufactured, supplied, installed and maintained to meet industry requirements.

Underpinning all of this is SEMA’s technical committee which, over the years, has developed design codes and technical guidance that standardises safe processes and best practice. In the UK we are the point of reference on storage safety for the HSE and Local Authorities.

Safe practices continue after the installation has finished. Racking qualifies as work equipment and, under PUWER, it is your responsibility to ensure it is kept in good working order. We offer training courses to cover regular racking checks and professional SARI qualifications for those who undertake the more rigorous expert inspections.

SEMA continue to develop their position as the leading authority within the industry and implement safe practices. We recently launched our new SEIRS Diploma for installers of racking that ensures each qualified installer achieves a minimum level of assessed practical skill. To gain full SEIRS qualification the course encompasses two parts and addresses not only the theory on installing storage equipment, but significantly it now includes practical, hands-on instruction.

We are also working on several new initiatives. These include the development of technical guidance to reflect industry developments and implement an online training booking process. Our SEIRS initiative is also one of the CSCS’s 38 partner schemes and we have implemented Smart Technology on SEIRS cards.

For further information contact SEMA.

Jaap Vos

President, SEMA

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