• Keith D Goodfellow (SARI)

Why are the SEMA codes so important for damage assessment of storage racks?


It is vital that users understand the safe operation, inspection, and maintenance of their storage equipment. The SEMA code of practice for the use of static pallet racking provides essential information for users of adjustable beam pallet racking and drive in or drive through racking systems to ensure effective use of the equipment and that appropriate safety standards are maintained.


To enable prioritisation of action for damaged components SEMA uses the traffic light system for assessing damage as follows:


Green risk: Minor damage within the SEMA allowable limits. Monitor during regular inspections.

Amber risk: Affected locations should be offloaded as soon as practically possible within 28 days and not refilled until the risk has been rectified. The risk identified is sufficiently severe to warrant remedial work, but not sufficiently severe to warrant the immediate offloading of the rack. If no action is taken within 1 month an amber risk becomes a red risk item requiring immediate offloading.

Red risk: A high level of damage or risk has been identified which warrants immediate offloading and isolation of the affected location until the risk has been rectified.


The SEMA code then sets out a system for assessing damage to structural components of a racking system. Where damage is detected it should be assessed and the racks offloaded according to the severity of damage as covered above.

The allowable damage limits for uprights and braces are relatively slight. In most cases as we can see from the table above by the time the damage is clearly visible its usually not a matter of if you replace it but when you replace it so careful and regular inspections are vital. More details on the damage tolerances for uprights and frame bracing are available via this link: sema-codes-and-tolerances-explained

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Racking Inspection Services

1 Orc​hard Lane

Ironbridge, Telford, 

Shropshire, TF8 7PB

0560 370 5666

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