5 Sciences that a SEMA Approved Inspector Needs to Understand

5 sciences that a SEMA approved inspector needs to understand

At Storage Equipment Experts, we have spoken at length about the high standards involved in becoming a SARI (SEMA approved rack inspector) as well as the high the standards involved in remaining a SARI. Recently, SEMA themselves have announced that they now expect even more from SEMA approved inspectors. To put it in their own words, “safety legislation just got tougher!”

SEMA were referring to the new CDM regulations that were announced in April 2015 and came into force in February 2016. More than ever, these new regulations mean that SEMA approved inspectors are vital to your warehouse’s safety.

Being a knowledgeable SARI involves a lot more than most people realise. It’s not just a matter of metal and measurements, racking inspections involve using a lot of knowledge from a lot of different fields. Mathematics, physics, environmental science, philosophy, and psychology are all things that a SARI needs to understand in order to do their job properly. So let’s run through these five sciences and explain why a SEMA approved inspector needs to understand them all…

Euclid in your warehouse: Why do SEMA approved inspectors need to understand mathematics?

“Wait, is maths even a science?” might be the first question you will ask upon reading this. The best answer to that question is “maybe”, but it’s not the sort of philosophical quandary which affects the day to day life of a SARI. Rather, what a SARI is concerned with is whether the measurements of a piece of racking equipment match up with what SEMA and HSE deem as safe.

One of the many things that racking inspectors are looking for when they perform a racking inspection is how bent a piece of racking is. If the bend is obvious, then that spells trouble. However, less obvious bends require measurement and an understanding of mathematics is needed to figure out whether or not the bend is a serious one or not.

Einstein in your warehouse: Why do SEMA approved inspectors need to understand physics?

The way metals interact with each other in a warehouse, the way one racking beam interacts with the whole storage system and the way loads interact with each other on a pallet racking system are all examples of times where an understanding of physics can be helpful. Your average SARI is not going to be helping you to travel through time anytime soon, but they do need to understand some of the main rules. Weight is potential energy, and if a SARI does not respect that fact then that potential energy could cause an actual disaster.

Al Gore in your warehouse: Why do SEMA approved inspectors need to understand environmental science?

There is a strong correlation between how safe a business is and how sustainable a business is. For this reason, understanding environmental science can be extremely helpful for improving business safety. With regards to staff, safety and sustainability in the workplace both mean respect for your environment. In other words, being a safe employee means respecting the warehouse environment. And if they respect the warehouse environment, then they are more likely to respect the wider environment. With regards to management, sustainability and safety both require long-term planning, attention to detail, and diligence. All of this equates to less accidents, less needless waste, and a safer, more sustainable, more profitable business.

Long-term planning is key here. Both safety enthusiasts and environmental enthusiasts know that results can take a long time to manifest themselves. Sometimes it is as much about raising awareness and creating a culture of safety and sustainability as it is about implementing protocols. Safety expert Aishwarya Nair agrees and also argues that sustainability should be a core value in all businesses alongside safety. The two work well together, and so any knowledge of environmental science can be extremely helpful to SEMA approved inspectors.

Socrates in your warehouse: Why do SEMA approved inspectors need to understand philosophy?

Philosophy is about asking big questions, and the biggest question in warehouse safety is one which requires a bit of philosophical pondering: is a zero-accident workplace possible?

We believe that it is, but we didn’t arrive at that conclusion on a whim. We have considered the question of the “zero-accident workplace” before and not everyone feels the same way. So while Matt Grierson, SEMA’s president, argues that zero accident workplaces should be the main goal, the EU see it as “more of a way of thinking than a numerical goal”. This is definitely philosophical territory, and so it is worth explaining why we believe that SEMA approved inspectors should be aiming for zero accidents as a numerical goal.

Everything seems impossible until it’s done. We rid the world of smallpox deaths in 1979, we rid the whole of the Americas of rubella in 2015, and we are close to eradicating malaria from the whole of Europe. It would have been easy to think that, “some people are bound to die of smallpox”. However, the facts bear it out; nobody dies of smallpox anymore. The zero accident workplace is a big philosophical commitment, but this value theory affects the way we do business at Storage Equipment Experts. We believe in a zero accident workplace and it moves us forward.

Freud in your warehouse: Why do SEMA approved inspectors need to understand psychology?

As we mentioned before in a previous blog post, the British government are currently looking into how psychology can affect workplace safety. The Health and Safety Laboratory’s argument, essentially, is that employees with the wrong kind of mental state are more likely to involve themselves in accidents. This theory makes sense. If you have no respect for your employer and have little regard for yourself, why would you care about safety?

Under the right supervision, employees can develop a positive work ethic which will help to make them safer employees. Understanding workplace psychology means understanding the value of respecting your employees. There are ways to show your staff that they are respected and valued, but one of the best ways is through pallet racking inspection training. Training of any kind helps employees to feel like they are being invested in, but our rack inspection training course has the added benefit of teaching employees about racking and warehouse safety as well.

Science and safety are complex disciplines that come in many different forms. At Storage Equipment Experts, we know that our knowledge of racking inspections is informed by, and helps to inform, the body of science around it. With our services, we aim to improve both racking inspection safety and the science of racking inspection safety as well.

It’s not rocket science! Contact Storage Equipment Experts today for expert racking inspections and rack inspection training from the smartest SARI around!

The difference between racking inspectors in the UK and abroad

The difference between racking inspectors in the UK and abroad

In the UK, HSE are the government board responsible for health and safety at work, and they recommend that a SEMA approved racking inspector visit a warehouse for an expert inspection at least once a year. However, this idea is not a given. Overseas, racking inspectors and the racking inspection industry can range from quite different to completely unrecognisable.

Racking inspectors, racking inspections and racking safety in the USA

Oscar Wilde once quipped that “we really have everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language.” Well over a century later, this aphorism still holds true… to a certain extent.

OSHA is the US’s federal bureaucracy in charge of workplace safety. As a result, OSHA  resembles HSE in several ways. The two bodies differ when it comes to the issue of racking safety. While HSE has a pretty clear definition of what racking safety involves, OSHA does not. This has led people like business journalist Travis Rhoden to criticise OSHA for their lack of clarity.

In OSHA’s 2002 document Materials Handling and Storing, racking inspections are not mentioned once. Inspections are referred to in general, with OSHA recommending that regular warehouse

inspections be conducted by staff, but racking inspections specifically are not mentioned. Because of OSHA’s vagueness, Rhoden recommends that businesses make sure their racking is inspected and their staff know how to do racking inspections as well.

When writing for American publications, we have always recommended expert racking inspections and racking inspection training. The laws may be different, but the standards should remain the same.

Racking inspectors, racking inspections and racking safety in Australia

The Australian government’s racking safety regulations can vary by state, but it is Victoria’s racking safety regulations that are most similar to the UK. Work Safe Victoria, the state’s department of health and safety, recommend pallet racking inspections once every six to twelve months. Much like HSE, inspections from a “technically competent” person are recommended. They also use a traffic light system for internal inspections.

Racking inspectors, racking inspections and racking safety in Canada

Similar to Australia, racking inspection regulations in

Canada can vary by province. In Ontario, warehouse safety inspections are carried out by the Ministry of Labour who expect that warehouse staff are trained enough to carry out daily racking inspections. This system emphasises the need for pallet racking inspection training for staff.

In the UK,

HSE also recommends that staff carry out internal inspections. It does not specify the regularity of these inspections, but if your staff receive pallet racking inspection training from a SEMA approved racking inspector then daily racking inspections can easily be done.

In many English-speaking countries, racking inspectors and racking inspections are still a big part of warehouse safety. Racking safety transcends political and cultural boundaries, and the reason for this is that it’s the right thing to do.

Contact Storage Equipment Experts today for pallet racking inspections and pallet racking inspection training from the UK racking inspection experts who know that safety is safety, no matter where you are!

An Introduction to Warehouse Safety

warehouse safety

An Introduction to Warehouse Safety: What is it? Who does it apply to? And why does warehouse safety matter?

At Storage Equipment Experts, we talk a lot about warehouse safety, and that’s mainly because we’re so passionate about it. However, one thing that we’ve not yet done is explain warehouse safety to the uninitiated. To us, it’s second nature, but to many people it remains a mystery. Some people might even wonder why warehouse safety even matters.

Warehouses are big structures and they have the potential to employ many people, as many as 40,000 in the case of some Amazon warehouses. With such scale and such size, the potential for accidents is equally huge. 40,000 people running around a building that size with no safety precautions would be complete chaos!

And yet, before HSE and the introduction of warehouse safety procedures, that’s exactly what happened. It was only after the tragic Flixborough chemical plant explosion in 1974 that HSE was introduced. The 24 needless deaths were a wake-up call, and since then warehouses have become much safer places.

Warehouse safety and pallet racking inspection training

We have long believed that rack inspection training is essential to the maintenance of any warehouse. If you have a small business, then you need pallet racking inspection training. And if you have a big business… you also need pallet racking inspection training!

Any business with a warehouse can benefit from it. Warehouses are, in essence, nothing more than vessels for large storage systems. The larger and more ambitious your storage system, the better trained your staff should be to perform racking inspections.

Pallet racking inspections and pallet racking inspection training are a big part of warehouse safety. They protect your warehouse from damage and protect your staff from harm, just as much as hard-hats and rack protectors do. In fact, rack protectors are often misused, and so it is vital that employers and employees recognise the importance of expert rack inspections and rack inspection training as a preventative measure.
At Storage Equipment Experts, we have always been happy to supply our customers with expert rack inspections, delivered by a SEMA approved inspector, to warehouses across the UK. Though we are also passionate about providing our readers, and the general public, with knowledge about rack inspections and warehouse safety…

Understanding warehouse safety and why it's important in reducing accidents and fatalities in warehouses

Warehouse safety has a long history, but we also believe in the future of warehouse safety. That’s why we are keen to spread as much knowledge about the topic as possible. We believe in creating safer warehouses across the UK through spreading awareness, but also through our services. Our expert rack inspections and rack inspection training are perfect for businesses of all sizes. Whether your warehouses is an Amazon concrete jungle, or a just a cosy corner to store your stock, we’ve got you covered.

We are in the business of making warehouses as efficient, useful, and safe as possible. That’s why our expert rack inspections and pallet racking inspection training courses are carried out by a SEMA approved inspector. It’s also why we deliver our services to any business in the UK.

Contact Storage Equipment Experts today! HSE recommend that SEMA approved inspectors perform racking inspections because they’re experts, and we couldn’t agree more!

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Damage Isn’t Always Obvious: 4 Reasons We Need Racking Inspection Experts

Racking inspection experts

When most people think of warehouse dangers or damage to racking systems, they think of sensationalised stories or videos where racking system failures lead to disasters that are so extreme they are almost farcical.

However, with most cases, racking system damage is not as obvious as this. In many cases racking system damage is subtle, and that’s why we need racking inspection experts.

We need racking inspection experts because signs of damage differ from brand to brand

At Storage Equipment Experts, we are more than happy to inspect a wide variety of racking systems. Not all racking systems are the same, and the subtle differences between different racking systems are vitally important when it comes to inspection. What might seem normal for a Dexion storage system may be completely abnormal for a Mecalux storage system.

We need racking inspection experts because damage can be different by pallet racking type

Even within a given brand, pallet racking types can still vary. This is why we have developed a pallet racking identifier to help businesses with their internal racking inspections.

Internal racking inspections are something which HSE state should be carried out by staff on a regular basis, alongside racking inspections from a racking inspection expert at least once a year. Our SEMA approved racking inspectors serve warehouses across the country, ensuring that any UK business can receive an annual, expert racking inspection. As for the internal inspections, this is why we provide pallet racking inspection training, a racking inspection checklist and a pallet racking identifier.

This identifier helps you to compare what your pallet racking should look like with what it does look like. Of course, there are bound to be some differences, but how much difference is safe? And what exactly constitutes damage with regards to each pallet racking system?

When the answer is not obvious, that’s when we need racking inspection experts. They dedicate their lives to knowing the answers to these questions. SEMA approved inspectors spend years studying what safe pallet racking is and what it is not, regardless of type, brand, or any other variation.

We need racking inspection experts because damage sometimes requires maths to spot

If a bend in your racking system is easily visible, then anyone can tell you that you have a problem. The reason we need racking inspection experts is because not all bends are obvious. Sometimes noticing a bend requires some expert know-how. SEMA approved inspectors have specific calculations in mind when they are figuring out whether a given piece of storage equipment is indeed bent and what the best course of action should be as a result.

We need racking inspection experts because damage is not solved easily

SEMA approved inspectors are racking inspection experts whose role is not just to tell you that you have a problem. Rather, racking inspection experts are there to help you solve your storage system problems. This is why we provide rack inspection training for businesses across the UK to help you to spot damaged racking earlier. The earlier the damage is spotted, the easier it is to fix. This law holds true in many walks of life, including racking system safety.

Damage isn’t always obvious. There is a whole spectrum of damage between safety and disaster. Before this particular warehouse found themselves in a situation where they called the ambulance 76 times over a two year period, there would have been many other warning signs. Racking inspection experts are there to spot warning signs as early as possible.

Concerned about your pallet racking system? Contact Storage Equipment Experts, the racking inspection experts who are SEMA approved and willing to inspect racking anywhere in the UK.

The Sturdy Relationship Between Racking Inspections And HSE

Racking inspections HSE

HSE and the racking inspection industry are two major players in the world of warehouse safety, and their strong relationship is based on a common goal: safer warehouses across the UK. HSE and racking inspection experts have often worked together to achieve this goal, and here are just some examples of when they have…

HSE recommends pallet racking inspections from SEMA approved racking inspectors

HSE recommends that relevant businesses have an “expert” pallet racking inspection at least once every 12 months. They state that the person tasked with carrying out the inspection should be “technically competent” and cite SEMA approved inspectors as an example of this kind of competence.

They go on to state that businesses should conduct internal pallet racking inspections using a traffic light system: red is an immediate emergency, amber is a situation that requires attention as soon as possible, and green means that the system only requires regular attention. This traffic light racking inspection system is designed so that all staff members have the same idea about what constitutes safe racking and what does not.

Of course, the best way to ensure that your staff are up for the job of using this system to perform racking inspections is to book a place on one our rack inspection training courses and/or use our racking inspection checklist. The rack inspection training course is delivered by a SEMA approved racking inspector and the checklist has been designed by a SEMA approved rack inspector.

Both are specifically designed to be an introduction to racking inspections for people who want to abide by HSE regulation with regular staff-led racking inspections alongside side regular visits from an expert, a SEMA approved racking inspector.

HSE respect the racking inspection industry’s opinion

At June 2015’s SEMA Seminar, Matt Grierson confirmed that HSE agreed to legally enforce SEMA’s ‘Guide to Method Statements’ if SEMA could turn it into a formal Code of Practice. Whether or not this actually ends up happening is still a big maybe. Grierson admitted that getting the relevant experts needed to write the code has proven tricky.

Still, the fact that HSE respects SEMA enough to turn something they have written into law is evidence of their respect for the racking inspection industry. The expert judgement of SEMA approved inspectors has not gone unnoticed by HSE, and it is this expectation that keeps the quality of our SEMA approved racking inspections and our racking inspection training so high.

HSE are present at the big racking inspection events

September 2015’s SEMA Safety Conference was a big day for the racking inspection industry, and so it should come as no surprise that HSE were well represented at the event. Of particular note was Rob Shaw, who delivered an in-depth talk about how slips, trips, and falls can be reduced in the warehouse, something which he has written a lot about for HSE and HSL. Shaw’s expertise was well received, and his dedication to reducing accidents in warehouses echoed the general theme of the event.

SEMA approved inspectors are proud of what they know, but they also recognise that they are a cog in a much larger machine. Warehouse safety is a large industry made of many different people in many different fields trying to bend the arc of history towards safety.

For that to happen, the racking inspection industry needs the support, knowledge, and respect of HSE. We are happy to say that we have all three of those things, and we give those things back to HSE in return. The relationship between HSE and racking inspections will mean only good things for the future of racking inspections and the future of warehouse safety.

Contact Storage Equipment Experts for the “expert” and “technically competent” SEMA approved racking inspection and racking inspection training that HSE recommend.

How Has The Warehouse Shaped Our Ideas Of Culture And Safety?

Pallet racking inspection training

Warehouses are a strange contradiction; they are both easy to ignore and impossible to live without. Like smartphones, they have entirely wormed their way into our lives and have changed the way we live our lives too. However, unlike smartphones, the modern warehouse does not receive the same frenetic media attention, and perhaps it should.

The Industrial Revolution, the birth of the modern warehouse, and the birth of pallet racking inspection training

At Storage Equipment Experts, we have spoken before about the link between the development of the modern warehouse and its relationship with the Industrial Revolution. We have also spoken about how the Industrial Revolution lead to some of the first safety regulations, paving the way for pallet racking inspection training. In essence, it’s fair to say that all three are heavily connected. If it were not for the Industrial Revolution, we would not have the sort of warehouses and workplace safety standards that we do today. And if it weren’t for warehouses and workplace safety standards, the Industrial Revolution would have run out of steam as storage failed and accidents skyrocketed.

The Industrial Revolution may have helped to create the culture of excess that we have today, a culture that we often take for granted, but it couldn’t have done it without warehouses and warehouse safety.

The effect of the warehouse on art, music, theatre, and culture

Warehouses are practical animals, and their sheer size can make an impression on artists. Their squareness largeness, at first glance, appears to laugh at the very idea of aesthetic or beauty. However, many artists see beauty in their simplicity. In 2013, art critic Mat Gleason claimed that warehouses were becoming the new normal for art gallery installations across Los Angeles. And this wasn’t some small trend either. He believed the idea was spreading and he even dubbed it the beginning of “The Warehouse Era”. And in music, the harsh acoustics of an empty warehouse have been cited as the driving influence behind Berlin’s techno scene in the late 80s and early 90s.

In theatre, warehouses have long been the ideal venue for certain kinds of performances. The natural echo created by a warehouse makes it great for unmiked performances that can be both loud and intimate at the same time. Moreover, the size and space of a warehouse allow for a variety of staging styles, from minimalist to over-the-top design. The success of venues like Donmar Theatre is proof of this. To date, productions made at the Donmar Theatre have won 43 Laurence Olivier Awards.

Why do artists gravitate towards the predictability, rules, and pallet racking inspection training associated with warehouses and warehouse safety?

Warehouses are known for warehouse safety, and this means that the space can be experimented with by artists to a large degree without risk of danger. The same cannot be said of all arts’ spaces. It’s strange to think that the necessarily rigid practice of warehouse safety and pallet racking inspection training allows artists so much freedom and creativity. However, the history of art bears the idea out. Perhaps the safety and security of a warehouse is appealing to people who work in the arts, where so much can be uncertain. Warehouses are sturdy, safe, and things like storage systems, HSE regulations, pallet racking inspection training gives them a predictable structure. The contrasts entirely with so many art forms, yet the uniformity of the warehouse gives an artist knowable boundaries for their expression. Sort of like the borders on a canvas for paintings, or the hour time-limit that many Edinburgh Fringe performances give themselves, or a word limit for a writer.

Warehouses and warehouse safety have given us much more than a means to store washing machines or lawn mowers. And warehouses are not just important for hardhat-wearing safety aficionados. There is art, music, theatre, and an entire lifestyle that would not exist without warehouses, warehouse safety, and pallet racking inspection training.

Now that you know how important pallet racking inspection training is, why not book a course for your business? Contact Storage Equipment Experts for a pallet racking inspection training course from the most knowledgeable SEMA approved rack inspector in the UK.