SEMA is the Storage Equipment Manufacturer’s Association. Its authority when it comes to storage equipment is vital for any discussion of warehouse safety.
What is the SEMA Racking Code of Practice?
The SEMA Racking Code of Practice is not law, but HSE refers to it often in its guidance on storage equipment safety. In the absence of advice from HSE, following the SEMA Racking Code of Practice is often the best thing you can do.
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Of course, the SEMA Racking Code of Practice is not really a code of practice. It’s more like several different codes, and each one can be downloaded from the SEMA website individually. These codes range from advice on cantilever racking, to clarification on HSE’s advice, to advice on load notices.
With regards to load notices, they are an example of a time when a SEMA Racking Code of Practice became a law. This sort of close relationship with the law is precisely why the SEMA Code of Practice is good advice to follow.
Alongside the codes, SEMA also releases technical bulletins. These updates are direct responses to specific issues that are happening in the storage equipment industry. One technical bulletin released in 2015, for example, tackled the issue of misused rack protectors.
SEMA Approved Inspector Qualification
The SEMA approved inspector qualification is one of the most important elements of SEMA’s work. In order to keep warehouses safe, SEMA runs a course for people to become racking inspectors. These SEMA approved inspector qualifications are hard to achieve and they are not designed to be taken by your warehouse’s person responsible for racking safety (PRRS).
Rather, the SEMA approved inspector qualification should only be taken by people who want to pursue a full-time career in expert racking inspections. People who have passed the SEMA approved inspector qualification are known as SEMA approved racking inspectors (SARIs). These people tend to have some kind of background in engineering, warehousing, or health and safety.
Being a SARI is a continued commitment and if you want to know about how to become a SEMA approved racking inspector, we have written a post which explains how to become a SEMA approved racking inspector, as well as what you’ll need to do to maintain it.
The toughness of the SEMA approved inspector qualification is evidence by the fact that only 109 people in the world have achieved the qualification. It really is a matter of “in the world”, with inspectors hailing from across the UK but also Ireland, Spain, Poland, Finland, the UAE, Singapore, and even China.
Of those 109 inspectors, only 36 have also passed the SEMA approved inspector qualification for cantilever racking. At Storage Equipment Experts, our SEMA approved racking inspector is one of those 36 people.
SEMA inspections for racking systems are performed by SEMA approved racking inspectors. These inspections are recommended at least once a year by HSE and expert inspections like these are also recommended by the EU. We provide exactly this sort of SEMA approved racking inspection at Storage Equipment Experts.
SEMA inspections should also be performed alongside staff-led racking inspections. These inspections should be performed by your PRRS, but they can also be performed by anyone who you judge to be competent enough to perform the task.
In order to ensure that your staff are competent enough to perform regular racking inspections, we offer racking inspection training which is delivered by a SEMA approved racking inspector. We can perform this training at your premises or at our training centre.