Top 10 Strategies for Enhancing Pallet Racking Safety in Your Warehouse

Pallet Racking Safety in Warehouse

Anyone who has ever been involved in warehouse operations in any capacity knows the overwhelming importance of safety. A safe warehouse not only reduces operational hiccups and financial losses but, more importantly, protects the lives and well-being of the staff.

At the heart of warehouse safety lies the pallet racking systems. These structures, often towering and laden with goods, represent a significant safety hazard if they are not looked after correctly – ensuring their stability and safe usage is absolutely central to the broader health and safety plans of your site.

Here are our top 10 strategies for enhancing the safety of the pallet racking in your warehouse.

1. Regular Pallet Racking Inspections

Consistent safety audits play a critical role in identifying vulnerabilities before they escalate into genuine hazards. Warehouse managers and safety personnel can proactively address concerns by detecting damage or misalignment early, thereby fortifying their operations against potential disasters. A SEMA-approved racking inspector will bring invaluable expertise to the table – a meticulous approach to racking inspections ensures a thorough evaluation, ensuring that your racking systems are not just compliant but optimized for long-term safe usage.

2. Proper Training for Staff

The foundation of any safe and efficient warehouse lies in the hands of its staff. Proper training for those using racking systems is of the highest importance, not just for the sake of productivity but also for safety. Operational training ensures that employees understand the nuances of loading, unloading, and organizing items, reducing the risk of overloading or mismanagement. Safety training, on the other hand, equips them with knowledge about emergency procedures and preventive measures.

Together, these facets of training empower staff to maintain the integrity of the racking system, contributing significantly to the overall safety of the warehouse environment.

3. Ensuring Proper Load Distribution

Uneven weight distribution on warehouse pallet racking systems poses a significant risk, not only to the integrity of the racking structure but also to the safety of warehouse staff. Improperly balanced loads can lead to rack collapses – causing injuries and damaging goods, as well as disrupting operations. To ensure even loading, it’s essential to regularly rotate stock (this helps in preventing long-term, uneven stress on certain rack sections) and spread the weight as evenly as possible.

4. Adherence to Pallet Racking Weight Limits

Overloading racks can compromise their structural integrity, leading to potential failures or collapses, which in turn, poses serious risks to personnel, goods, and equipment in the vicinity. Consistently exceeding weight limits can also shorten the lifespan of the racking system, resulting in costly replacements and downtime.

Ignoring these weight specifications not only endangers the safety of the warehouse environment but can also lead to significant financial implications from damaged goods and potential liability. Prioritizing this fundamental safety principle is vital for smooth and hazard-free warehouse operations. Always be sure to use load signs that clearly display weight limits at prominent places to remind staff, and adhere to the manufacturer guidelines for the weight limits specified for each shelf and the entire racking unit.

5. Installing Safety Equipment on Pallet Racking Systems

Equipping your pallet racking systems with the right safety equipment is an excellent strategy when it comes to minimizing warehouse accidents. Racking safety equipment includes:

  • Racking safety pins that secure beams in place and prevent unintentional dislodging.
  • Locks that ensure that only authorized personnel can make adjustments, minimizing the risks of improper alterations.
  • Pallet rack guards will provide a barrier against potential impacts from forklifts or other machinery, protecting the structural integrity of the racks.
  • Post protectors and frame guards can also work to mitigate the damage from potential impacts.

Each of these components plays a vital role in the overall safety strategy, acting as the first line of defense against unforeseen incidents and human errors. Investing in and maintaining these safety tools is a hallmark of a safety-conscious warehouse.

6. Maintaining Clear Aisles and Work Areas

A cluttered environment not only impedes the smooth operation of machinery like forklifts but also poses trip and fall hazards for staff. Keeping pathways clear, especially around pallet racking systems, is essential to ensure that loaded or unloaded items don’t inadvertently impact the racking. Spacious and clear aisles also provide quicker access during emergencies or evacuations – and proper organization and an emphasis on regularly scheduled clean-ups can dramatically reduce the chances of accidents.

Remember, a tidy warehouse is not just aesthetically pleasing – it’s a safer, more efficient workspace.

7. Prompt Damage Reporting and Repair

A proactive approach to warehouse safety involves not only spotting issues but addressing them promptly – any damage or signs of wear and tear on pallet racking systems should be reported immediately. Overlooking minor damages or postponing repairs will inevitably lead to more significant issues over time, compromising the entire racking system’s stability. Fostering a culture where employees feel responsible and are encouraged to report issues without fear of repercussions is vital.

Timely interventions, even for minor damages, can significantly prolong the life of your racking systems and ensure a safer working environment.

8. Utilizing Proper Shelving and Storage Techniques

Make sure that all of your staff are using the correct shelving and storage techniques – implementing the right methods not only maximizes storage space but significantly enhances safety. Using correctly sized pallets tailored to your racking system prevents overhanging items, reducing risks of falls or collisions, and equally vital is the practice of correct stacking, ensuring items are securely placed which will minimize wobbling or the potential for toppled goods.

Warehouse operators can ensure the longevity of their racking systems and provide a safer environment for their staff by taking the time to train staff in proper shelving techniques.

9. Effective Warehouse Layout Design

An intelligently designed warehouse layout is key – not just for the smooth flow of operations but also for enhancing safety. Optimizing the layout ensures that there’s a dedicated space for each function, reducing the chances of congestion and operational bottlenecks. Make use of clear pathways, designated loading and unloading zones, and strategic positioning of high-turnover items, and you will drastically reduce potential accidents.

You do not have to take on this burden yourself – leveraging the expertise of professional warehouse layout design experts can result in a layout that complements your specific operational needs while maintaining an unwavering focus on safety.

10. Emergency Protocols and Evacuation Plans

Every warehouse should prioritize having a clear and actionable emergency response plan. In the face of unforeseen events, such as racking collapses or other potential hazards (fires, gas leaks, etc.), an established protocol can significantly reduce risks and save lives. This goes beyond just having emergency exits – it’s about planning out routes, specifying assembly points, and marking safe zones. Of course, just having a plan isn’t enough – regular training sessions must be conducted to ensure all staff members are well-versed in how to react swiftly and efficiently during emergencies.

What Next?

Pallet racking safety isn’t just a regulatory requisite – it’s an essential element that underpins the functionality and longevity of a warehouse operation. Each strategy highlighted not only mitigates risks but also optimizes your workflow, ensuring both safety and efficiency go hand in hand.

Remember, proactive measures today can prevent significant disruptions and dangers tomorrow. If it’s been a while since your last safety check or you’re unsure about your warehouse’s current safety status, there’s no time like the present to act. Reach out to SEE Racking Inspections for a comprehensive safety assessment and gain peace of mind about your facility’s security and compliance.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Racking Inspections in Line with HSE Standards

Comprehensive Guide to Auditing Racking Safety Aligned with HSE Standards

In the bustling ecosystem of a warehouse, every component plays a pivotal role in maintaining harmony and efficiency. Central to this are the racking systems – skeletal structures that bear the weight of products and the expectations of a smooth supply chain.

The strength of your racking can be compromised over time, though, and even the smallest damage can domino into significant safety issues.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published precise guidelines, emphasising the delicate nature of racking materials and the importance of regular safety audits. In this guide, we’ll take a look at the step-by-step processes that keep racking systems in check, safeguarding both human resources and inventory.

Read on for everything you need to know.

Preliminary Racking Inspection Preparations

Every warehouse needs to assign a dedicated ‘person responsible for racking safety’ (PRRS). This individual looks at everything to do with racking safety – from the operational frequency, equipment used, warehouse dimensions, and even the proficiency of personnel, to pinpoint potential threats to the racking structure.

As the first step of the inspection process, the PRRS should:

  • Assemble a safety audit team – Highlight the importance of having a multidisciplinary team, including safety officers, warehouse managers, and maintenance personnel.
  • Gather necessary tools – Racking inspection checklists, safety manuals, protective gear, and measuring tools.

The Different Types of Racking Inspections

Understanding the depth and frequency of racking inspections is essential for maintaining warehouse safety. In HSG76, the HSE emphasizes a tiered approach to these inspections, ensuring that potential issues are identified and rectified as soon as possible.

Immediate Reporting

A culture of ‘immediate response’ must be nurtured across the warehouse – should any employee, irrespective of their designation, notice a safety issue or damage, it’s their responsibility to report it instantly to the PRRS. Swift action can preempt larger problems, and having systems in place for such immediate reporting creates a safety-conscious environment.

Visual Inspections

These are the frequent, more general checks that ensure the daily safety of operations. The PRRS should oversee inspections at weekly or other regular intervals determined by a risk assessment – it’s a proactive approach, capturing any noticeable issues before they escalate, with every check documented formally.

Expert Inspections

This level of inspection delves deeper. These inspections, which should be done at least annually by a technically competent individual, result in a detailed written report submitted to the PRRS. Their findings help strategize remedial actions, ensuring the longevity and safety of the racking systems. Make sure that the inspector you choose is a qualified expert by always using a SEMA-approved racking inspector.

In essence, this hierarchical structure ensures a holistic surveillance of the racking systems, leaving no room for oversight.

Steps in the Racking Safety Audit Process

Safety in a warehouse setting isn’t merely about following protocols but ensuring that every piece of equipment, especially the racking systems, is in optimum condition. Given the importance of this, a rigorous safety audit process for your racking systems is mandatory. Here’s a comprehensive guide to understanding this audit process:

Visual Inspection

A visual once-over can reveal a lot more than you’d anticipate – look out for obvious signs such as wear and tear, any onset of rust, or visible damages like dents or bends in the racking structure. Often, it’s these clear visual cues that provide the first hint of potential issues.

Load Checks

Overloading or unevenly distributed weight is a precursor to many racking mishaps. Each shelf within a racking system has a specified weight limit – exceeding this poses risks. It’s crucial to ensure that every shelf’s load is within this designated limit and that the weight is spread out evenly, preventing undue stress on any specific section.

Alignment and Anchoring

A misaligned rack, no matter how minor the deviation might seem, can compromise the entire system’s stability. During the audit, it’s essential to confirm that all racks are perfectly vertical. Additionally, the anchoring of these racks to the warehouse floor is of utmost importance, guaranteeing that they remain steadfast even under duress.

Accessibility and Aisle Width

Efficiency in a warehouse is as much about movement as it is about storage. Ensuring that the aisles between racking systems are sufficiently wide for machinery like forklifts is essential – these pathways need to be free from any obstructions, enabling smooth operations and reducing the risk of accidental impacts.

Safety Equipment Inspection

Beyond the racks themselves, the safety equipment associated with them is a critical component of the system. Safety pins, locks, beam safety clips, and other protective gear need regular checks to ensure they’re functioning as intended, providing that extra layer of security.

Documentation Review

History tends to repeat itself unless we learn from it – delving into maintenance logs, past inspection reports, and other relevant documentation should shed light on patterns or recurrent issues, allowing for proactive measures rather than reactive solutions.

Understanding HSE Standards for Racking Inspections

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) sets the gold standard for racking safety, laying down guidelines that act as the North Star for warehouses globally. The HSE’s guidelines detail everything from the frequency of inspections to the types of checks necessary for different racking systems. Adherence to these standards isn’t just about ticking boxes – it’s about ensuring the well-being of employees and the safety of stored goods.

In the hustle and bustle of warehouse operations, a mishap can have dire consequences, both in terms of human safety and business implications – maintaining compliance with HSE standards minimizes these risks, reinforcing trust and operational efficiency.

Post-Audit Actions

Once the audit concludes, the process isn’t over – the findings, irrespective of their nature, need to be meticulously documented. This record acts as a roadmap, helping prioritize repairs or modifications. Some issues might demand immediate attention, while others could be part of a routine maintenance schedule. Equally essential is communicating these results to all relevant stakeholders, as this transparency ensures that everyone is on the same page, working cohesively towards a safer workspace.

Regular Maintenance and Continuous Safety Checks

Safety isn’t a one-time effort – it’s a continuous commitment. Regular maintenance and periodic checks between comprehensive audits are paramount to uphold a consistently safe environment.

SEE Racking Inspections

Warehouse safety, especially when it concerns racking systems, is an intricate dance of regular inspections and preventive measures. With the HSE laying down the foundation for best practices, the responsibility is on businesses to incorporate these into their day-to-day operations. Every audit conducted, every flaw rectified, and every maintenance check contributes significantly to the long-term safety and efficiency of warehouse operations.

Ensuring racking safety is not a solitary endeavour – expertise and guidance play crucial roles. For those aiming for excellence in warehouse safety, seeking the expertise of seasoned professionals is a wise move. At SEE Racking Inspections, we don’t just offer inspections – we provide peace of mind.

In the world of warehousing, safety isn’t just a priority – it’s a necessity. Take a proactive step today and check out the comprehensive services offered by SEE Racking Inspections.

Safety Guidelines for Warehouse Racking: Ensuring a Secure Work Environment

Warehouse Racking Safety Guidelines

When it comes to warehouse safety, no detail should be overlooked. Proper warehouse racking safety isn’t just about meeting regulations. It’s about ensuring a secure and productive work environment for everyone involved, that is what we are all about at SEE Racking Inspections. We are passionate about empowering warehouse managers and staff with the knowledge and skills they need to navigate warehouse operations safely and efficiently.

The Importance of Warehouse Racking Safety

Warehouse racking systems form the backbone of the logistics industry. These steel giants, such as warehouse pallet racking, rise high to accommodate an ever-increasing demand for goods. As a result, they’re often laden with weight and bustling with activity – a recipe for disaster if not carefully monitored and maintained. In fact, the HSE reported that in 2021/22, there were 16 fatal industries in the transport and storage sector, alongside a whopping 31,000 non-fatal injuries.

Accidents involving warehouse racking can be catastrophic, leading not only to potential injuries but also significant financial losses due to damaged stock and operational downtime. Consider the worst-case scenario, in which a member of staff is fatally injured in the warehouse, and the incident also included massive stock losses and equipment damage (for example, a forklift driver knocks over racking). This type of accident will cause tens of thousands of pounds of losses to the organisation, in addition to the irreplaceable loss of life – which will inevitably also have an immeasurable impact on general productivity and reputation.

If the warehouse management or safety is found to be responsible for the accident (due to lack of training or insufficient safety procedures and maintenance, for example), then there will also be hefty regulatory fines and possibly legal bills to contend with.

The good news? Most of these accidents are preventable with the proper safety guidelines in place and regular warehouse racking inspections. Understanding the potential risks is the first step towards creating a safer warehouse environment.

Common Risks Associated with Warehouse Racking Systems

Warehouse racking systems come with their own unique set of hazards. Knowing what these are can help you establish more robust safety procedures:

  • Improper Load Distribution: An unevenly distributed load can destabilise the racking system, leading to a potential collapse.
  • Exceeding Load Capacity: Overloading racking beyond its designed capacity puts undue stress on the structure, significantly increasing the risk of failure.
  • Damage from Handling Equipment: Forklifts and other heavy machinery can cause structural damage to the racking during loading and unloading.
  • Inadequate Training: Without proper training, employees may not understand the safe operation of equipment or how to properly load and unload items, resulting in unnecessary risk.

At SEE Racking Inspections, we’re committed to helping you mitigate these risks with our team of SEMA approved racking inspectors who can provide professional, knowledgeable advice and thorough racking inspections. We’re experts in the field, and we want to help you ensure your warehouse is as safe as it can be.

Safety Guidelines for Warehouse Racking Systems

Ensuring warehouse safety isn’t a one-time affair – it is an ongoing commitment that involves continuous assessment, training, and adherence to safety protocols. Here are a few key safety guidelines:

Regular Inspections

Schedule frequent warehouse racking inspections. On page 115 of the HSE document called HSG76, it is stated as follows ‘A technically competent person should carry out inspections at intervals of not more than 12 months.’

The team of SEMA approved racking inspectors at SEE Racking Inspections provide a comprehensive racking inspection service to help you identify potential risks and implement effective preventive measures.

View the HSG76 document on this link: https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/priced/hsg76.pdf

Proper Training

Make sure all warehouse staff receive thorough training on warehouse safety guidelines, including the safe use of equipment and best practices for loading and unloading racking systems.

SEE Ltd provide one day training courses which can be held at your companies premises for your warehouse team. Alternatively, you can visit one of our training centres or attend a rack safety awareness course online.

Find more information on our training courses by clicking this link: https://seerackinginspections.co.uk/racking-inspection-courses/

Clear Markings

Ensure all racking systems are clearly marked with their maximum load capacity. This information should be prominently displayed and easy for all staff to understand. Find more information on this link: https://seerackinginspections.co.uk/load-signs/

Correct Use of Equipment

Ensure that all warehouse machinery and equipment are used correctly, adhering to safety procedures at all times.

Proper Maintenance

Regularly maintain your racking systems and replace damaged components as soon as they are identified.

Safety Equipment

Consider implementing additional safety equipment, such as anti-collapse mesh screens or upright protectors, to further enhance safety.

Let SEE Racking Inspections Help You

At SEE Racking Inspections, we know that every warehouse is unique, with its own set of challenges and risks. That is why we offer bespoke safety solutions tailored to your specific needs. Our team of SEMA approved racking inspectors can carry out a comprehensive warehouse racking inspection, provide safety training, and offer knowledgeable advice to help ensure you’re meeting all necessary safety guidelines.

We also understand that taking action on warehouse safety isn’t just about compliance; it’s about creating a work environment that values the well-being of its workers. It’s about showing your employees, stakeholders, and customers that you’re committed to operating responsibly and safely.

Remember, the costs of not investing in warehouse safety can be far greater than the costs of implementing a robust safety program – so don’t wait for an accident to happen: get ahead of the curve and make safety a priority today.

To find out how we can help you create a safer warehouse environment, fill in the form on our website to request a quotation for warehouse racking inspections. We look forward to working with you and contributing to a safer future for the logistics industry!

Why Do You Need a SEMA Racking Inspection Course in 2023?

Why Do You Need a SEMA Racking Inspection Course 2023

The warehouse operations space has seen many advancements, from technological innovations to regulations. As we navigate through 2023, warehouse safety remains at the forefront of these improvements. A key component of this safety initiative centres around storage equipment and racking systems – and this is where the SEMA Racking Inspection Course comes into play.

Find out why you should take the course by reading on.

Warehouse Safety

In the competitive world of warehouse operations, the race often goes to the swift – those who can locate and move goods at lightning speed. However, beneath this relentless hustle lies a foundational pillar that is often overlooked yet is critical for long-term success— warehouse safety.

A significant part of warehouse safety is, of course, preventing accidents – but that is not the only part that great safety management plays. It is an integral aspect of efficient operations, workforce retention, brand reputation, and cost management – for businesses eyeing long-term success, weaving safety into the very fabric of their operations is a necessity. As you invest in the latest technology and training programs, like the SEMA Racking Inspection Course, remember that you’re investing in safety AND in the future success and longevity of your business.

Understanding SEMA and its Significance

SEMA, the Storage Equipment Manufacturers’ Association, is renown for setting the industry standard when it comes to storage solutions. They have long been champions of quality, safety, and reliability – ultimately aiming to ensure that businesses can store products safely while prioritising employee well-being.

In light of recent warehouse incidents and the growing complexity of storage systems, SEMA’s guidelines have become even more pivotal. Their Racking Inspection Course is tailored to equip inspectors with the latest knowledge and skills required to keep warehouses in peak condition.

Why 2023 is the Year to Get Certified

Growing Complexity of Storage Solutions

As businesses adapt to the demands of modern logistics, the storage systems they employ have become more intricate – however, advanced racking systems offer greater efficiency but also pose new safety challenges. A SEMA Racking Inspection Course ensures that your inspectors can handle today’s warehousing landscape.

Stricter Safety Regulations

In 2023, we’re seeing a tightening grip on warehouse safety standards globally. Ensuring compliance with these standards is about more than avoiding penalties (important as that is) – it is about running a successful, efficient business.

Enhance Employee Confidence

Knowing that their workspace adheres to SEMA standards can significantly boost employee morale and confidence, as they can perform their tasks knowing that safety is a priority.

Reducing Long-Term Costs

While there’s an upfront cost associated with training, the long-term financial benefits are undeniable. Fewer accidents mean smoother operations with less interruption and downtime, and a reduction in potential compensatory costs. Plus, a safe environment boosts productivity!

Staying Ahead of the Curve

When you invest in a safety training course,  you are effectively anticipating industry changes. Being proactive about safety ensures your business remains at the forefront of warehouse operations, standing out as an industry leader.

Make the Investment in SEMA Today

It is clear to see why the SEMA Racking Inspection Course is not just beneficial but essential in 2023. As the warehousing sector evolves, those who adapt and prioritise safety will be the ones to thrive.

If you are keen on safeguarding your business’s future and ensuring you’re at the cutting edge of warehouse safety, then look no further – booking a spot in the SEMA Racking Inspection Course means that you are making an investment that will yield dividends in overall efficiency and business growth.

The success of your warehouse does not solely lie in its operations but in the safety and well-being of every individual who steps into it. prioritise their safety, and you prioritise the future of your business.

Seize the Future with SEE Racking Inspections

As we have navigated the importance of SEMA Racking Inspection Courses, it should be evident that the safety and efficiency of your operations are intertwined – but knowledge without action is simply potential left untapped.

SEE Racking Inspections, with our reputation for excellence and commitment to the highest standards of safety, offers comprehensive training courses tailored to the needs of the modern warehousing world. Choosing to train with us means that you are exposing yourself to the industry-leading training and inspection expertise we have accumulated over many years – and you are investing in the future of your business.

Our courses are meticulously crafted to cover every nuance, every detail, and every scenario that might arise in a dynamic warehouse environment. Led by industry experts, these sessions should transform your warehouse operations.

Why wait for change when you can be the change?

Embarking on this journey of continuous learning places your business on the map of industry leaders, and also sends a clear message to your staff and stakeholders that safety and efficiency are paramount.

So, do not let another moment slip by – check out the range of training courses offered on the SEE Racking Inspections site. Navigate the offerings, find the course that fits your needs, and start working to create safer, more efficient storage environments.

Act now. The future of warehousing safety is just a click away.

How to Improve Safety Awareness in the Workplace?

safety awareness

Workplace safety should be a top priority for any business, and knowing how to improve safety awareness is one of the most effective ways to ensure the well being of your employees.

No matter what industry you’re part of, health and safety is very much a primary concern of the modern business world. Every workplace has the potential for accidents to happen, but failing to improve awareness of safety risks will only increase the chance of an employee sustaining an injury or worse.

In this post, we’ll highlight a few of the ways you can make the workplace environment safer by improving the awareness of employees.

Invest Time and Effort into Training Employees

Improving the knowledge and training of employees is something that business owners should always be looking to do, especially when it concerns health and safety. This will not only give staff a more in-depth knowledge of the types of risks they could be exposed to, but it will also provide them with the necessary know-how to react accordingly if the worst should occur.

Training is especially vital in workplaces such as warehouses, where large, heavy objects are store and machinery. At Storage Equipment Experts, our
SEMA approved inspectors can provide racking inspection training that helps to improve the overall safety of the workplace, as well as teach employees how to carry out a risk assessment.

Proper Signage

Signs play a significant role in increasing awareness, maintaining safety and creating a sense of order. When it comes to workplace safety, one of the most simple and efficient methods of raising awareness is implementing the correct signage. Whether it’s a cone for a wet floor, a sign to highlight trip hazards or a sign to warn employees about forklifts being used in the area, increasing awareness will decrease the likelihood of accidents happening, because employees will be more aware of their surroundings.

Another disadvantage of failing to implement proper signage is that it makes you liable if an employee is injure and takes legal action. If the proper warnings aren’t in place to raise awareness of the potential risks, you are putting your employees in danger and could suffer the consequences.

Declutter and Clean

A messy workplace doesn’t just look unprofessional — it could also prove to be dangerous for your employees. Cleaning up after yourself is something that most people will have been taught as a child, but it can be easy for clutter and general untidiness to build up at work, especially in hectic environments.

Fortunately, this is an issue that doesn’t require a great deal of time and effort to fix. Getting into the habit of regularly tidying the workplace and paying close attention to areas where there is more potential for accidents (walkways, shelves, areas with machinery, etc.) will get your employees into a routine and decrease the risk of injury.

Risk Assessments and Inspections

The best way to increase safety awareness and efficiency is by carrying out a risk assessment and inspection. These can be perform by our SEMA-approved inspectors, who will assess the environment and ensure that your workplace health and safety complies with HSE standards. We also offer one-day racking inspection training courses that provide you and your employees with essential warehouse safety knowledge and advice, so that you can keep your workplace safe.

Both risk assessments and inspections are highly beneficial for raising awareness, because they highlight the areas of your workplace that are causing issues and could potentially be dangerous. The keen eye of an expert and the knowledge they possess will massively improve workplace safety — even more so when combined with regular internal safety inspections.

Are you looking to improve safety awareness in the workplace? We can help! At Storage Equipment Experts, our SEMA-approved inspectors help business owners enhance workplace safety with thorough racking inspections and employee training courses. Get in touch today to find out how we can improve your workplace safety.

What Are the Repercussions of Ignoring Warehouse Risks?

Warehouse Risks

If you discover that your warehouse safety isn’t up to scratch or that there are certain risks you could handle better, choosing to ignore them could have serious and potentially fatal repercussions.

Every business and workplace is different and, therefore, some are more dangerous than others. A warehouse is a place that demands awareness, training and risk assessments to ensure that everyone remains safe. With so many warehouse risks to consider, some business owners may opt to ignore them in an attempt to save time and money.

In this post, we’ll highlight a few of the ways ignoring warehouse risks could prove to be catastrophic and what you should be doing to tackle these risks.

Injuries and Fatalities

In the UK, hundreds of thousands of people injure themselves at work every year. In the warehousing sector, the most common injuries to be slips and trips, falls from a height, manual handling and struck by objects. As a business owner, you have a duty of care to anyone who sets foot in your warehouse. While it’s impossible to completely eliminate the possibility of an accident occurring, you’ll be failing your employees if you choose to ignore warehouse risks.

If an accident happens, the worst case scenario is the death of an employee. This is not only devastating on a personal level, but, if it occurs because of negligent behaviour, it will bring your company into disrepute and you’ll likely face legal action.

At
Industrial Storage Equipment Experts, our SEMA-approved inspectors ensure that your workplace complies with health and safety requirements by carrying out thorough racking inspections. This will point out any current or potential warehouse risks and advise you on the best course of action to fix the problem.

You Could Face Legal Action

When it comes to risks and the potential for accidents, the warehousing sector is more vulnerable than most. It’s for this reason that you should do everything in your power to ensure that your employees are as safe as possible at all times. If an employee or anyone else is injure in your warehouse, they would be well within their rights to take you to court.

If it comes to light that you were aware of warehouse risks and chose to ignore them, didn’t provide employees with the necessary training or failed to carry out inspections or risk assessments, it’s safe to say you and your business could be in hot water. Depending on the severity of the injury, you may have to pay a substantial amount of compensation — this is especially the case if an employee is killed and their family believes you are responsible.

It Sends the Wrong Message to Employees

Deciding to ignore correct warehouse safety procedures is reckless, irresponsible and a sign of extremely poor leadership. It not only relays the message that ignoring health hazards is acceptable, but it also shows that you aren’t concerned about the wellbeing of your employees.

As a business owner and leader, you should ensure that your workplace is as safe as it can be. In a warehouse, there are risks — due to the storage of heavy objects and machinery, such as forklifts, being used — but with the correct precautions, such as inspections and training, you can create a much safer environment. Employees who feel safe and have faith in their leader will be much more comfortable and happy at work, and improved morale is a fantastic way to boost productivity and success.

Warehouse Safety Training and Inspections Are Vital

A vital aspect of any business is safety and, no matter if you work in a warehouse or an office, it’s something that should be a top priority. Here at Storage Equipment Experts, our SEMA-approved inspectors have an abundance of knowledge and experience that ensures that your warehouse’s safety isn’t undone by the risks presented by damaged or unsafe racking.

We also provide essential training to employees, which teaches the importance of professional racking inspections and how to perform a risk assessment. Our one-day course can be complet
e at one of our training centres or your workplace. Upon completion, you and your employees will have an enhanced awareness of warehouse safety and the knowledge to carry out internal racking inspections.

Warehouse risks pose a serious threat and are not something to be ignore. At Storage Equipment Experts, our SEMA-approved racking inspectors can ensure that your warehouse meets HSE standards. Get in touch today to find out how we can support your safety needs and concerns.

Why Warehouse Safety Is Essential for Small Businesses?

Warehouse Safety

 Good warehouse safety practices are vital for any company, but small businesses are particularly vulnerable if accident or injury should occur.

Thanks to advances in modern technology, most notable of which is the internet, businesses and organisations large and small now occupy a level playing field. While this makes it easier for companies to market themselves and make more sales through eCommerce, businesses are still vulnerable if they experience problems of a financial or legal nature — issues that could easily occur if proper warehouse safety isn’t maintained.

In this post, we’ll highlight why warehouse safety practices are essential for small businesses.

Poor Warehouse Safety Can Lead to Accidents

As a business owner, you should do everything in your power to ensure that your employees are safe at work. This can prove to be difficult in an environment such as a warehouse, but by implementing thorough inspections and training, you can massively decrease the likelihood of accidents happening.

Between 2016 and 2017, over 600,000 people were injured at work in the UK, 39,000 of whom worked in the transportation and storage sector. Accidents including slips and trips, manual handling incidents, and falling from a height are among the most common. These all have the potential to cause serious harm and even death. A death in the workplace is damaging for a company of any size, but, for small businesses especially, the impact it will have on your finances and reputation can be difficult to recover from.

At Storage Equipment Experts, our SEMA-approved inspectors carry out professional racking inspections to make sure your workplace complies with health and safety requirements and regulations. We also run one-day training courses that provide business owners and employees with vital warehouse safety knowledge and advice on keeping the workplace safe.

Damage to Products and Equipment is Costly

Small businesses who use warehouses to store their products could run into serious financial problems if they fail to maintain proper warehouse safety. For example, if your storage system fails or an employee accident causes damage to products because they aren’t properly store, they could prove expensive to replace. This is a notable risk for small businesses, which tend to work with much lower budgets, leaving little to no room for error.

Likewise, if damage to products means that you have to delay or cancel orders, it will have a negative impact on your company’s reputation. In the business world, and especially for local businesses, reputation is everything. If customers lose faith in your brand, they won’t hesitate to purchase what they need from your rivals.

Legal Problems Can Spell the End for a Company

When a large organisation appears in the media because an employee has been injure at work, it will leave them with a red face for a while and will make a nice dent in their finances — due to compensation payouts — but, ultimately, you’ll find in time that they recover. An example of this is Amazon, which faced $28,000 fines at the end of last year, due to two employees being kill in its warehouses in the space of two months.

While industry-leading companies may be able to endure legal issues and fines, these types of problems could spell the end for a small business. If an employee slips, trips, falls from a height or has an accident while using machinery (such as a forklift) in your warehouse, the legal fallout could prove to be costly. A small business works on a tight budget and relies heavily on its reputation and taking note of warehouse risks could be a killing blow for what is otherwise a successful company.

Are you a small business owner with concerns about warehouse safety? Here at Storage Equipment Experts, our SEMA-approved racking inspectors will ensure that your warehouse equipment meets HSE standards. Get in touch today to find out how we can support your safety needs.

What is the Purpose of a Risk Assessment?

risk assessment analysis

The term ‘risk assessment’ is commonly used and it’s a vital aspect of modern health and safety. We live in an era where inefficient or negligent safety practices are no longer acceptable and will result in legal action. So what is the purpose of a risk assessment?

These days, there tends to be a lot of focus on marketing and technology when it comes to business, but health and safety is still very much a cornerstone of the business world. Good health and safety practices not only prevent injury in the workplace, but also prevent serious incidents from damaging the reputation of a company.

In this post, we’ll discuss the purpose of a risk assessment and why it’s something that no business owner can afford to ignore.

Why Do a Risk Assessment?

Employers have a duty of care to their employees and a crucial aspect of delivering that is ensuring safety in the workplace. The purpose of a risk assessment is to allow the employer to identify any potential risks and take necessary measures to keep their employees safe.

While the purpose of risk assessment is the prevention of occupational risks, some workplaces are more dangerous than others and it can be difficult to completely eliminate the possibility of an accident occurring. In terms of warehouse safety, there’s a lot to consider, including the storage of heavy objects, working at height, manual handling and much more. Therefore, a risk assessment becomes crucial for reducing and preventing injury — it can even save lives.

Provide Employees with Necessary Training

Another purpose of a risk assessment is to provide employees (and yourself) with the necessary training to ensure that they maintain adequate health and safety practices at all times. On the job training is one thing, but the insight and knowledge of a health and safety professional will open your eyes to all of the potential risks at your place of work.

Here at Storage Equipment Experts, our SEMA-approved inspectors carry out thorough racking inspections to make sure that you are complying with health and safety requirements. We also carry out one-day racking inspection courses — either at one of our training centres or at your workplace — which teach you everything you need to know about warehouse safety. Upon completion, you will have attained the vital knowledge needed to carry out your own internal inspections.

Prevent Damage to Equipment or Products

There’s no doubt that the primary goal of any employer or business is to protect workers from any potential hazards. But another crucial benefit of a risk assessment is that it helps to prevent damage to or loss of product due to insufficient storage or transportation.

This is especially important for companies who operate expensive machinery or store high-end goods, or small business owners who tend to work on a much tighter budget. Damage to products due to accidents in the workplace can be expensive to replace or lead to loss of business, if you have to wait for replacement goods. It could also make your customers lose faith in your company, damaging your reputation and leading to a reduced customer base.  

When it comes to warehouse safety, possessing the correct knowledge of racking systems, ancillary equipment — such as forklifts — storage equipment and different types of damage will give your workers the awareness needed to help them make their daily surroundings a much safer environment.

Are you concerned about workplace safety and think you would benefit from a risk assessment? Contact Storage Equipment Experts today to discuss how we can help. We provide racking inspections to make sure you remain compliant with workplace health and safety regulations.

Why Do a Risk Assessment? It’s All About Reducing Liability

Risk management

What is the point of doing a risk assessment? Do you actually need to do one? Our blog post explores this topic and explains what it’s all about.

The term risk assessment describes the process of carrying out checks to identify potential hazards and other risk factors that may result in harm. The purpose of a risk assessment is to evaluate these hazards and make appropriate arrangements to either negate or control potential injury or other consequences.

Risk assessments are commonly carried out in the workplace. At Storage Equipment Experts, we work with warehouses to secure racking and storage equipment and help put measures in place to satisfy the results of a risk assessment. Workplaces like warehouses aren’t the only places that should consider risk assessments, though. Events, public spaces, entertainment venues and schools are all good candidates for risk assessment processes.

Why Do a Risk Assessment

Why do a risk assessment? Are they actually necessary?

Many people are aware of the often-dubbed ‘overprotective’ nanny state created by the policies of health and safety. As a result, it can be tempting just to ignore such methods of monitoring potential dangers, including risk assessments. In fact, the temptation is more real than you might think, with 65% of UK businesses regularly flouting the rules and guidance put in place by HSE (The Health and Safety Executive).

What could go wrong?

The process of conducting a risk assessment may seem unnecessary at times, especially at small workplaces or for low-key public events, but carrying out an evaluation of potential dangers is always a good idea.

Risk assessments allow you to:

  • Build Awareness of Hazards — If you don’t conduct a risk assessment, it can be difficult to know exactly what could go wrong. Yes, risks may be minimal, but no aspect of life is without risk. A quick read of the workplace deaths recorded by HSE is enough to prove that point. Without performing a risk assessment, you face a lack of preparedness to deal with the issues that cause such fatalities. Imagine there was an issue and somebody was injured — without a risk assessment, you’re risking not having the knowledge or resources to deal with the problem.
  • Identify Who is At Risk: Certain people may be more at risk than others, such as employees in specific roles, performers at a venue or visitors located in a specific area at an event. You don’t want to place a group of people at unnecessary risk, which is why analysing any potential problems — and having plans in place should they happen — is crucial.

With this information to hand, you are then capable of determining whether or not protection is needed. You may conduct a risk assessment and discover all is as it should be and that there are appropriate protective measures in place. However, if you carry out a risk assessment and find there aren’t, you can now take the steps you need to secure your building, warehouse, event or venue.

By carrying out assessments you’ll:

  • Improve the likelihood of preventing injuries, illness or death as a result of attendance to your event, workplace or venue;
  • Meet moral and ethical conventions by ensuring you are not putting people at unnecessary risk. Failing to meet these conventions can irreparably damage your reputation;
  • Meet legal requirements relating to both health and safety and duty of care.

At The End of the Day, It’s About Liability

Moral and ethical implications aside, performing a risk assessment is all about negating liability if a problem was to occur. In the event of disaster, for example, should somebody become injured at your event or place of work, you need to cover yourself against legal action.

Being found liable for health and safety breaches can result in severe consequences. Entities, such as businesses, found guilty of breaking health and safety laws — without having carried out an appropriate risk assessment — face fines in the region of tens of thousands.

What’s more, the individual responsible for managing adherence to health and safety laws, be it an HR rep, event planner or business owner, faces personal liability as well. This can include additional fines and even jail time.

So why do a risk assessment?

Risk assessments allow you to identify potential health and safety problems and take appropriate precautions. In doing so, you create a safer environment that drastically reduces the chance of something bad happening. If the worst were to occur, you have a certain level of protection as you followed the expected processes — providing you did so to a satisfactory standard.

Why do a risk assessment? Because it is a crucial step in ensuring your workplace or venue is safe. At Storage Equipment Experts, we are specialists in racking safety. If you operate a warehouse, contact us today to find out how we can ensure your premises meets health and safety standards, reducing the risk of injury on your property and providing you with essential protection in the case of a problem.

Warehouse Safety Ideas: 5 Steps to Reduce Risk

Warehouse Safety Ideas

Discover simple yet effective methods of reducing the risk to employees working in your warehouse safety, creating a more secure working environment.

A safe warehouse environment is paramount to your business’s survival. If proper safety procedures aren’t in place, accidents can become commonplace in the warehouse environment. The scale of the workforce involved, the machinery used, the extensive use of racking systems and the size of the structure, along with the often heavy items contained within it, all add up to a workplace that is inherently hazardous.

Health and safety problems that result in worker injury or death can destroy a business.

Across the globe, forklift operation regularly ends in injury or fatality — in America alone, 20,000 people are injured by the vehicles each year. Here in the UK, each of the top five most common causes of workplace fatalities has the potential to be caused by the warehouse environment. These are falling from a height, being struck by a moving object, getting hit by a moving vehicle, being trapped under collapsed equipment (such as racking) and death by workplace machinery.

Unfortunately, accidents are sometimes unavoidable. However, there are plenty of steps businesses can take to avoid health and safety breaches that result in legal liability, and live up to ethical codes that mean their workers are secure in their environment.

At Storage Equipment Experts, we are specialists in warehouse safety. We’ve travelled the length and breadth of the country and seen every kind of setup there is. With that knowledge in mind, here are our top five warehouse safety ideas to reduce the risk of accident or injury:

1. Create a Clear Movement System

Warehouses are notorious for containing big pieces of machinery, large crates, and rows and rows of shelving and racking. Navigating this environment can be tricky, especially without a clear line of sight. Such obstacles greatly increase the risk of collision between workers.

This kind of problem can be negated by creating a movement plan. Similar to a road or car park, create a structure of mobility that means you can only move in certain directions through certain areas of the warehouse. These could be one-way passages or the creation of lanes.

By creating a clear path of movement, you reduce the chance of collision by making sure everyone is moving in the same direction. Sign post this warehouse safety idea clearly. Make sure the layout is not only intuitive and easy to follow, but that there is always visible information available about what the flow of traffic is for those who aren’t familiar.

2. Racking Inspections by SEMA Approved inspectors

Racking fills warehouses. Sometimes it can cover near every inch of available space.

Racking houses all your goods and is an essential piece of equipment workers will regularly come into contact with. It is also made of heavy materials and holds heavy objects, some of which can be found at great height.

Unstable or damaged racking has the potential to cause serious injury or worse. The HSE — the British governing body of health and safety enforcement — recommends that qualified inspectors carry out racking reviews at least once a year. We are also strong advocates of this advice.

Ensuring your racking is secure can avoid a lot of preventable problems. Wear and tear, damage and poor initial construction can lead to weaknesses in racking, which in turn can lead to falls, collapse and instability, putting workers at risk.

Hire a SEMA approved racking inspector, such as us at Storage Equipment Experts, to make sure your warehouse racking is safe to use.

3. Eliminate All Clutter

Any unnecessary clutter has the potential to be a trip hazard, cause entanglement, result in somebody becoming trapped or cause injury due to falling objects. These are dangers that can easily be avoid by presenting workers with a strict policy on maintaining a clean and clear working environment.

Line of sight is essential to avoiding many warehouse problems, as is organisation. Create a strategy that ensures everything has an assign place to be stored and that storage is done properly without creating a jumbled mess. A mountain of misaligned crates is a disaster waiting to happen. If there is no place for appropriate storage, allocate areas of the warehouse for objects to be place — out of the way of usual activity — until a secure, permanent home can be found.

4. Employ Automation and Smart Tech

According to HSE, falls from height are the second highest cause of death in the workplace. This isn’t particularly surprising, since working from a height carries great risk. However, there are ways you can reduce the need for employees to carry out work at a height, and this starts with smart technology.

Drones are slowly being introduce to warehousing as automated tools for stock checking. The technology is program to check for items, locate packages and even transport them, if possible. This means your workers don’t have to reach high places to identify or move stock.

There are other ways you can utilise smart tech for warehouse safety. Amazon recently patented a device which tracks hand movements and directs employees to the right place, helping them to avoid moving the wrong items or items they don’t have the equipment to hold. Tracking movements also allows you to monitor employees and ensure they are following safety regulations properly.

5. Educate Everyone on Warehouse Safety Ideas and Rules Regularly

Things change, workplaces evolve, new people arrive and people get complacent. Due to the adaptive nature of work and warehousing, a one-off training process in safety is not sufficient. Reminders and updates are require to keep workers on their toes and ensure they are following the correct procedure. Provide regular training sessions that refresh key skills and safety information. If new systems do come into place, make sure everyone is aware and up-to-date.

Time to up your warehouse safety? Contact Storage Equipment Experts today to discuss how we can support your safety needs. Our SEMA approved racking inspectors ensure your warehouse equipment meets the standards defined by HSE.