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What are the New Health and Safety Executive Guidelines on Dismantling Pallet Racking?

Article added Tuesday July 28th, 2015

Back in March 2013, we answered the question of how you should dismantle warehouse pallet racking. At that time Health and Safety Executive regulations that came into play in 2007 were in still in force.

In April 2015, the Health and Safety Executive launched updated regulations that cover the dismantling of pallet racking. This applies in England, Wales and Scotland but not Northern Ireland.

The regulations are known as the Construction (Design and Management) (CDM 2015) and can be read in full at their website.

Because dismantling pallet racking falls within guidelines that are more applicable to building construction sites, understanding how they apply to your business can be difficult. One of these difficulties is in understanding if the new guidelines apply to your dismantling project.

The regulations came into force on April 6th 2015 but there are ‘transitional arrangements’ for ‘construction projects’ that began before this date.

Transitional Arrangements

Most pallet racking will have been in place for years, long before the April 2015 date and yet it would seem odd to think of your warehouse racking as being part of a ‘construction project’. The guidelines should therefore be applied to two phases:

  • The construction of the racking
  • The dismantling of the racking

If your racking was erected several years ago, only the dismantling will be classed as the ‘construction project’ to be covered by the updated guidelines.

If you have been dismantling racking in stages since before the April 6th date then you will need to investigate the transitional arrangements made by the Health and Safety Executive to ensure that you are complying with the regulations. Further information on this can be found here:


For dismantling that happens after 6th April 2015, the new regulations apply entirely.

Key Points of the Regulations

The aim of the updated CDM regulations are to improve health and safety. The regulations make several key points:

  • Plan the work so risks are managed
  • Have the right people for the right job at the right time
  • Cooperate and coordinate your work with others
  • Have the right information about the risks and how they are being managed
  • Communicate this information effectively to those who need to know
  • Consult and engage with workers about the risks and how they are being managed

'what are the new health and safety guidelines' article

Who Needs to Be Involved?

For pallet racking dismantling, there will be fewer people that will have a hand in complying with the regulations than for a complex construction project. These people are known as ‘dutyholders’ and are likely to be:

Client: Individual or business that has the dismantling work carried out for them. The client needs to make sure the work is properly managed for the health and safety of anyone that might be affected by the work.

Contractor: An individual or business in charge of carrying out the dismantling work. Their key job is to plan, manage and monitor the work under their control in a way that ensures the health and safety of anyone it might affect

Worker: An individual who actually carries out the work. Their duties include cooperating with their employer and other ‘dutyholders’, reporting anything they see that might endanger the health and safety of themselves or others. Workers must also be consulted on anything that affects their health and safety.

For a more comprehensive list, see this page: http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/cdm/2015/responsibilities.htm

A handy summary of dutyholders duties can be found here: http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/cdm/2015/summary.htm

Can you help us dismantle our pallet racking and make sure we stick to the guidelines?

Yes, there are lots of important technical and safety issues that need to be covered. Here at Pallet Racking Systems, we have an expert team with years of experience in the dismantling of all types of warehouse pallet racking.

To find out how we can help, call us for free on 0800 085 8117 or fill out our enquiry form.

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