HSE racking regulations and warehouse safety regulations are outlined in detail in HSE’s HSG76. It’s where most of the advice in this knowledge base comes from — other advice comes from SEMA, the EU, UK law and other sources.

What is HSE?

“What is HSE?” is a fair question. After all, this body helps to write all health and safety law in the UK, so it’s worth knowing who it is.

HSE is the government body responsible for all public health and safety in the UK. Originally, their domain was just workplaces. However, over the years, HSE has stepped in to make sure that they are there to write health and safety law for everything relating to public health and safety.

A Brief History of HSE

Defining HSE requires a brief look at its history. The Factory Act 1833 was the first piece of health and safety law written in the UK. This modest piece of legislation assigned just four inspectors to take a look at the whole of the UK and come up with a few basic suggestions about how to make factory work safer.

However, this first piece of law started a chain reaction, as it quickly became apparent that more legislation could help to make workplaces safer. Jump ahead to 1974 and HSE has been formed. Since then, workplace fatalities have reduced by 85% and workplace injuries have reduced by 77%.

HSE Guidance Documents Are Not The Same as HSE Legislation

HSE does help to write laws, but these do not come in the HSE guidance documents or HSE guidelines. Rather, the laws HSE writes come in the form of long legal documents, which are intended to be read by lawyers and legal experts.

The guidelines, by contrast, are intended to help regular people to better understand the laws which HSE writes. The language of the law can often be quite dense, and HSE guidelines attempt to simplify this language. However, doing this means that the advice is not exhaustive.

So, while HSE guidelines are important, it’s also vital to recognise that they are not necessarily the law. At the start of all their guidance documents, the following advice is given:

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”

This caveat is important, as it highlights how HSE best practice is not the same as the only practice. In other words, what’s more important than following HSE’s advice is following the law and creating a safe warehouse. More often than not, though, HSE guidelines are a good shorthand for doing that.

HSE Racking Regulations

HSE racking regulations recommend a SEMA approved racking inspection at least once a year. It also recommends regular racking inspections from staff. At Storage Equipment Experts, we provide SEMA approved racking inspections as well as racking inspection training from a SEMA approved racking inspector, so that your staff can perform regular, staff-led inspections.