Are Racking Inspections A Legal Requirement?

Are racking inspections a legal requirement? With so many different answers floating around on the internet, we’ve created this article to give you the definitive answer once and for all. At Oakway Storage, we are fully equipped to carry out a variety of Storage Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) approved racking inspections, such as pallet racking inspections and cantilever racking inspections.

What Are Racking Inspections?

A racking safety inspection (often referred to as a racking inspection), is a visual inspection of warehouse and storage systems to ensure that the equipment is free from damage, and safe to use. These racking inspections follow a hierarchical approach using several levels of checks as laid out by The Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Immediate Reporting

As soon as a safety problem or damage is observed by any employee, they should immediately report it to the Person Responsible for Racking Safety (PRRS).

Visual Inspections

The PRRS should ensure that visual inspections are made at least weekly or at even more frequent intervals based on risk assessments.

Expert Inspections

This is the part where we come in. A technically competent person should carry out racking inspections and a written report needs to be submitted to the PRRS with observations and proposals for any action necessary. Our written safety reports will contain a traffic light system, determining the risk level and status of your racking. Green: requires surveillance only; Amber: hazardous damage that requires actions as soon as possible; Red: very serious damage that requires immediate action.

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What Is The Legislation On Racking Inspections?

SEMA approved racking inspections are recommended by The HSE to be carried out at a minimum of once every 12 months in the UK. On the other hand, legally, the warehouse owner has a responsibility to ensure the safety of their staff – inspections of equipment and storage.

In The HSE’s Warehousing and Storage Health and Safety guide, they say:

This guidance is issued by the Health and Safety Executive. Following the guidance is not compulsory and you are free to take other action. But if you do follow the guidance you will normally be doing enough to comply with the law.

If you’re unsure what this means, take this scenario as an example of what could potentially happen if your racking isn’t inspected. If an accident involving an employee and racking were to happen, the warehouse owner would be both legally and morally responsible. In not having a SEMA approved racking inspection, a person could argue that the warehouse owner did not ensure their safety at work.

Are Racking Inspections A Legal Requirement?

If you’ve skipped the above and want a quick answer, then no, racking inspections are not a legal requirement. Although there is guidance from the HSE to suggest they are a good idea and that they highly recommend to have your racking inspected at least once a year, there isn’t any legislation in place to enforce them.

There you have it. Racking inspections aren’t a legal requirement, but are strongly recommended for both your and your employee’s protection. The cost of an inspection is nothing in comparison to the potential cost of not having one.

If you want your racking to be inspected by SEMA approved professionals, then our experts at Oakway Storage can help. Get in contact with a team member today, to book your SEMA approved racking inspection.

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