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Rack Inspections FAQs

Here are the answers to some of the most common questions we’re asked about racking inspections.

[Q] Do I need to inspect my racking/storage equipment?

[A] Yes. There is a legal obligation for all employers to ensure their employees work in a safe environment. The relevant acts and regulations are the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) – Section 2, the Workplace, Health, Safety and Welfare Regulations 1992, the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) and the HSE Warehouse and Storage Safety Guide HS (G) 76.
This legislation is designed to ensure all employers maintain their equipment to prevent dangerous faults such as damaged frames/post uprights, bent braces, deformed beams, missing beam locking pins or bolts, etc. which could cause serious injury if they left without any remedial action being taken.

[Q] How Are there any regulations that my racking needs to comply with?

[A] There are no regulations that specifically relate to racking. However, the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER), the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HASAWA), and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 all have a statutory ‘duty of care’ that your business must operate safely which includes making sure any racking is fully maintained.
Any failure to adhere to these legislative requirements can have significant ramifications on an organisation including invalidating insurance, fines of up to £20m and, in some cases, imprisonment.

[Q]. How often do i need to inspect my racking/storage equipment?

[A] The frequency of storage equipment inspection and reporting falls into three categories as defined by the HSE Executive:

  1. Immediate notification of damage from anyone on your premises who is responsible for the damage or notices it in the course of their duties.
  2. A weekly check by an appointed PRRS (Person Responsible for Racking Safety).
  3. A regular detailed inspection by a ‘technically competent person’. It is recommended that this is carried out by an external inspector on an annual basis, although in some instances an inspection may be required every six months.
[Q] Who are SEMA?

[A] SEMA, the Storage Equipment Manufacturers’ Association, is a private organisation which has been providing guidance on racking safety practices since 1968. It has become the “industry partner and point of reference” for storage safety by the HSE, Local Authorities, RoSPA, the CSCS and manufacturers. SEMA provide Codes of Practice for design, installation, use, inspection and disassembly of storage equipment, as well as comprehensive training courses and the subsequent registration of trained professionals.

[Q] What is a SARI?

[A] SEMA decided to develop its SEMA Approved Racking Inspector (SARI) scheme in response to HSE guidelines which state that a qualified person should carry out an inspection at least once every 12 months.
The scheme allows professionals, previously from engineering or health and safety backgrounds, to undertake a comprehensive training course detailing the correct rack inspection practices, including the highly acclaimed traffic light system of categorising rack damage, which has been adopted as the industry standard for use throughout the UK and EU.
An intensive training course is completed by a final examination with ongoing top-up sessions and seminars to keep the inspector’s knowledge up to date and in line with current industry standards. These “top ups” are mandatory to retain registration status ensuring confidence that all SARI card holders are at the forefront of racking safety.

[Q] Does the racking need to be empty for an inspection?

[A] No, the racks do not need to be offloaded before the inspection.

[Q] Will I need to stop operations during the inspection?

[A] If the inspection is taking place in a very active site, or one with VNA (Very Narrow Aisle) installations, our inspector may ask for the aisles to be cordoned off during the inspection. However we always do our best to work with our customers to keep any operational disruption to an absolute minimum.

[Q] What is the SEMA traffic light system?

[A] SEMA uses a traffic light system to categorise the seriousness of damage to storage equipment as follows:-

GREEN – minor risk. The damage is within the SEMA limits and should be recorded for further consideration at the next inspection.

AMBER – medium risk. The damage is greater than SEMA limits and remedial work needs to be carried out. Loads should not be replaced once the rack has been unloaded until the required repairs have been made.  If the rack is not unloaded or repaired within 4 weeks, the damage level is automatically upgraded to a ‘red risk’.

RED – high risk. The damage is twice the SEMA limits. The racking needs to be offloaded immediately and must not be used until the required repairs have been carried out.

[Q] What exactly does the inspection cover and what is contained in the report?

[A] The object of the inspection is to record any damage to the rack and apply the SEMA traffic light system to identify any remedial action required. In addition to assessing any damage, the inspector will also take a broad overview of the standards applied to pallet loading, waste packaging, damaged pallets, general standards of cleanliness, the condition of the floor, lighting, the type of fork trucks being used as well as racking protection both down the aisle and at the rack ends. Images will be taken to record any specific damage, the information on the load boards and any other findings which need to be included in the detailed report which is emailed within 14 days of the inspection being completed. 

[Q] How much does the inspection cost?

[A] The cost for an inspection varies depending upon the storage capacity of your warehouse and the type of racking installed so every job is different. Click here to complete our quotation request form for a quick no obligation estimate.

[Q] Is Acerax insured?

[A] Yes. Acerax Ltd carries full Professional Indemnity insurance cover and a copy of our insurance certificate is included with every quotation.