The end of the year is a great time to look back. This applies to your warehouse, too

Is 2016 the worst year of all time? Probably not. It’s been a bad year, sure, but there are many reasons why it’s been a great year. So what about your warehouse? Has 2016 been kind to it or not?

To answer that question, we’d recommend a visit from our SEMA approved racking inspector. However, we’d also recommend using our free pallet racking safety checklist, as well as a few other things. Here’s what to look out for and how to discover whether 2016 has been a wonderful or woeful year for your warehouse.

1. Use HSE’s Green, Amber and Red System

Before you inspect your warehouse, you need to have a system in place so you know what you’re looking for. HSE recommends a simple traffic light system. Green risk means safe; amber risk means that something needs to be repaired or fixed as soon as possible; red risk means something needs to be repaired immediately and that the racking system needs to be offloaded.

2. Make Sure You and Your Staff Have Had Pallet Racking Inspection Training

As well as recommending an annual racking inspection from a SEMA approved racking inspector, HSE also recommends “regular” racking inspections from “technically competent” staff. To make sure your staff are “technically competent”, we’d recommend pallet racking inspection training from a SEMA approved racking inspector as well. Our racking inspection training course comes with a long list of recommendations for businesses of all kinds across the UK.

3. Use Our Pallet Racking Safety Checklist

Our pallet racking safety checklist is the best for a number of reasons. It’s been written by a SEMA approved racking inspector, it’s easy to use and it comes in a simple PDF format. Before you begin reviewing your warehouse, make sure you check out our free racking inspection checklist template.

4. Identify Each Type of Damage

Once you and your staff have received racking inspection training, you will know that damage comes in different forms and that each type of damage requires a different action (something which we’ll get to later). As a result, you need to start by learning how to categorise damage properly, so it can be properly dealt with. We have a resource on damage types for your reference.

5. Inspect Each Part of Your Racking Individually, Then Consider the Whole Thing

Our racking inspection checklist is laid out so that your can inspect each piece of your racking in a systematised way.

Start with the upright post. Consider the front base plate and the rear base plate.
Then, inspect the frame brace and the column guard.
Next, consider the condition of your beam and of its safety lock.

Do this for all of the pallet racking in the warehouse and note the location of each item of pallet racking.

6. Write a Comprehensive List of “Actions Required”

According to HSE, green risk means “requiring surveillance only”, amber risk means “requiring action as soon as possible” and red risk means “requiring immediate action”. The important thing to note, however, is that this is not the whole story. This is only an intentionally vague beginning.

The “actions required” section of your template should be filled in with specifics. Does the item in question need repair? If so, what kind of repair? Does it need replacing? If so, with what? How soon does this need to be done by?

7. Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help

We’ve already mentioned that your staff should definitely have received pallet racking inspection training from a SEMA approved racking inspector before using our racking system inspection checklist. We’ve also already mentioned that HSE recommends a racking inspection from a SEMA approved racking inspector at least once a year.

However, the important thing to note there is “at least”. In other words, there’s no harm in asking for two or more racking inspections by a SEMA approved inspector in one year, especially if you’re worried or unsure about something.

In fact, if you suspect that your racking is damaged, Regulation 6 of The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 also recommends an inspection from an expert. This is a general piece of maintenance advice that applies to racking and any other kind of workplace equipment.


Hopefully, with our six-point guide, you’ll be able to give your warehouse a thorough review to see how 2016 has treated it. Still, if you’re at all uncertain, be sure to remember point seven and contact Storage Equipment Experts today!

Give your warehouse a proper review with our free pallet racking safety checklist and a visit from our SEMA approved racking inspector.

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