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The Importance of A Regular Pallet Racking Inspection

Article added Monday March 16th, 2015

Pallet racking is a vital piece of warehouse storage equipment. In a busy warehouse it is easy for it to sustain accidental damage and 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 and the cost of lost stock, major repair work and disruption to your operation.


Incorrectly installed or damaged racking is dangerous. In the UK there is a legal requirement to inspect your racking systems in order to comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and the Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

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.

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

In-House Regular Visual 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. Although, 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.

These regular inspections will highlight minor repair needs which will be quick and inexpensive to carry out with minimum disruption to your operation. 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 damaging 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.

Pallet Racking Systems Limited

At Pallet Racking Systems Limited we thoroughly inspect all of our systems prior to sale. Safety is paramount. We have over 45 year of experience and specialise in the sale of good condition used systems. We ensure that all of 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. We install our systems 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.