Pallet racking is classed as work equipment and so under PUWER requires regular inspection as set out in HSG76 and the SEMA guidelines.
HSG76 is the Health & Safety Executive guide to Warehousing & Storage and clearly sets out the need for and type of racking inspections required in a warehouse.
The need for inspections
Section 642 states: To ensure that a racking installation continues to be serviceable and safe, the storage equipment should be inspected on a regular basis. The frequency of inspections depends on a variety of factors that are particular to the site concerned and should be determined by a nominated ‘person responsible for racking safety’ (PRRS) to suit the operating conditions of the warehouse.
Section 646 states: A technically competent person should carry out inspections at intervals of not more than 12 months. A written report should be submitted to the PRRS with observations and proposals for any action necessary.
Section 647 states: A technically competent person might be a trained specialist within an organisation, a specialist from the rack supplier, or an independent qualified rack inspector...... such as a SARI or SEMA approved Rack Inspector.
The need for internal inspections
HSG76 & the SEMA guidelines (Storage Equipment Manufacturers Association) stipulate that you must appoint a Person responsible for rack safety known as a PRRS who be responsible for rack safety. It is their job to ensure the racking is installed, used, inspected & maintained in accordance with the appropriate regulations & guidelines.
You must also ensure that all warehouse staff are trained & competent in the use of materials handling equipment and also the storage capabilities of the racking to enable safe use of the warehouse.
This training should include recognition of pallet types, checks on their suitability & condition, the correct method of loading and unloading racking, & recognition of defects or damage that could affect safety of your storage racks.
Staff should also be aware of follow up action necessary to make affected locations safe and instigate a repair process to rectify all identified issues.
View and download a copy of HSG76 here >>
Keep your company on the right side of the law
A Rack Audit may be required by your Health & Safety officer, Insurance company, or Local Environmental Health Officer (EHO) following a warehouse accident or rack collapse.
Investigation into the causes of damage can result in improved operating methods, damage reduction, reduced maintenance costs, and reduced stock damage.