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Racking Inspection Guidelines

Article added Thursday February 28th, 2019

What is a rack safety inspection?

A racking inspection is an appraisal of the condition of pallet racking, mezzanine floors and shelving which may be at risk of damage from moving machinery within your warehouse.

The racking inspection regulations provide the various levels of inspection and how often they should be carried out. These guidelines are summarised below.

Why are racking inspections needed?

Incorrectly installed or damaged racking is dangerous so in the UK there is a legal requirement to inspect your racking systems regularly. In a busy warehouse it is easy for racking to sustain accidental damage or wear and tear over time.

Unchecked, this damage can go on to cause major problems for your business. In the worst-case scenario, damaged pallet racking can cause a serious collapse. This could result in the death or injury of an employee, the cost of lost stock, major repair work as well as the disruption to your operation and potential reputational damage.

What are the racking inspection regulations?

Racking inspection guidlelines are laid out in the Health and Safety At Work Act 1974, The Management of Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and the Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

The extracts below are a summary of the racking inspection regulations. If you want to know more, please refer to the documents above.

Inspect racking regularly to make sure it is repaired and maintained properly and is safe. You should use three types of inspection:

  • Immediate reporting of damage and defects;
  • Visual inspections at regular intervals; and
  • ‘Expert’ inspections carried out at intervals by a competent person.

Where you find damage that affects the safety of the racking system, offload the racking and introduce controls to prevent it being used until remedial work has been carried out. Keep a record of pallet racking inspections, damage and repairs, e.g. in a logbook. Health & Safety Executive, Warehousing and storage: Keep it safe publication.

In-House Regular Visual Racking Inspection and Reporting Procedure

Regular pallet racking inspection is also a requirement for many insurance policies. As well as the formal annual inspection it is vital to carry out more regular in-house inspections of your racking. This should normally be on a daily or weekly basis.

You should also have a procedure for the reporting of forklift accidents.

It is worth noting that not all drivers will report what they may see as a minor bump which is why regular inspections are so important.

Regular visual inspections will highlight minor repair needs which will be quick and inexpensive to carry out with minimum disruption to your operation. Minor damage can often be repaired in situ with only minor and short-lived disruption. If ignored, the combination of even slight damage and overloading can have a cumulative effect. This could eventually lead to a major collapse at which point as well as the safety implications for your employees, the cost to your business can spiral dramatically in terms of repair, damage to stock, disruption to your business and the possibility of Health and Safety Executive litigation.

Annual Third Party Pallet Racking Inspection

SEMA (Storage Equipment Manufacturers Association) have a code of practice that states that pallet racking should be inspected by a technically competent person such as an equipment supplier or manufacturer, usually on an annual basis.

Racking should be inspected on a regular basis as recommended in the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations. The pallet racking inspection should be carried out in accordance with SEMA Guideline No. 6 – Guide to the Conduct of Pallet Racking and Shelving Surveys. The frequency of the inspections depends on a wide variety of factors that are particular to the operator’s site, but the first inspection is normally carried out within 6 months of the installation becoming operational and thereafter at a maximum of 12-month intervals, depending on the amount of damage sustained. Records of these inspections must be maintained”. SEMA

Pallet Racking Systems Limited

At Pallet Racking Systems Limited we thoroughly inspect all our systems prior to sale. For us, safety is paramount. We have over 45 year of experience and specialise in the sale of good condition used systems.

We ensure that all the systems we sell meet all current health and safety regulations and conform to the latest FEM10-2-02 and SEMA design codes of practice.

Our expert installation team ensure every one of our systems is installed correctly, meaning you make the best start with a pallet racking system for your business.

Click here to find out more about our used pallet racking systems or call Pallet Racking Systems Limited on 0800 085 8117.