Top 10 Ways You Can Prevent Damage To Your Pallet Racking Systems

Pallet Racking Systems

Pallet racking systems are the undoubted champions of warehouse efficiency, offering indispensable storage solutions that maximize available space and boost workflow efficiency. Despite their robustness and critical role in seamless operations, these systems are not indestructible.

Ensuring your pallet racking systems remain in pristine condition is imperative for both the safety of your operations and maintaining peak efficiency. Warehouse managers who adopt a forward-thinking approach can markedly decrease the likelihood of damage and enhance the overall longevity of the storage solutions.

1. Regular Racking Inspections

A cornerstone practice in upholding the integrity of your warehouse pallet racking systems is making use of consistent inspections. Spotting issues early, from structural vulnerabilities to signs of wear, can prevent the escalation from minor annoyances to significant concerns.

Attention to detail is paramount for inspectors, and a keen eye on structural soundness is crucial. This includes vigilance for rust, dents, or any deterioration. These periodic checks are instrumental in preserving both the functionality and safety of the system.

2. Proper Training for Warehouse Staff

It is key to impart knowledge of the optimal use of pallet racking systems to your warehouse team. As informed handling and heightened awareness significantly lessen the likelihood of damage.

The training regimen should thoroughly cover operational basics, stressing the importance of sidestepping incorrect use and mishandling, frequent culprits of system damage.

3. Correct Loading Techniques

Utilizing the correct methods for loading and unloading pallets will prevent overstress on racking components. It’s important to distribute weight evenly and adhere to the system’s weight limits.

Offering guidance on these techniques ensures that the racking system remains stable and secure under load.

4. Installation of Protective Guards

Installing protective guards and barriers is effective measure to shield racking systems from accidental impacts from forklifts and pallet trolleys/dollies. These guards can be placed strategically around the system’s perimeter and at critical points prone to collision.

Different types of guards, such as column protectors and rail guards, provide an added layer of protection.

5. Forklift Operator Training

Forklift operators’ training involves handling the vehicle and understanding how to maneuver within the confined spaces of warehouse aisles without damaging racking systems.

To minimize the risk of accidents, operators should be trained on specific scenarios they might encounter, such as moving through tight spaces and operating in high-traffic areas.

6. Proper Racking Assembly and Installation

The importance of ensuring that pallet racking systems are assembled and installed correctly according to the manufacturer’s guidelines is not to be underestimated. An improper setup can lead to vulnerabilities that jeopardize the system’s overall stability and safety. It’s beneficial to involve professionals who specialize in racking installation, as they bring the expertise required to avoid common pitfalls, such as uneven load distribution or incorrect beam placement.

These specialists can also offer valuable insights into optimizing the layout for operational efficiency and safety. Regular audits post-installation to verify adherence to guidelines and identify any deviations early can mitigate risks effectively.

7. Adherence to Weight Limits and Capacity

Adhering to the designated weight limits and understanding the capacity of your pallet racking systems is an absolute must when it comes to maintaining structural integrity. Overloading poses a risk of collapse and can lead to long-term damage that compromises the racking’s durability.

Educating staff on the importance of weight distribution and the potential consequences of overloading is key. Displaying signage that clearly highlights weight limits and employing load sensors can serve as constant reminders and safety measures. Regular training sessions will reinforce the principles of safe loading practices.

8. Scheduled Racking Maintenance

Scheduled maintenance is about more than simple tasks like tightening bolts or swapping out worn components. For this activity to be truly effective, it should include a detailed examination of the entire racking system, scouting for any hints of potential problems, whether they concern structural integrity or the reliability of safety mechanisms.

Adopting a comprehensive checklist for evaluating the condition of the racks steers maintenance crews towards meticulous inspections. Collaborating with manufacturers for routine audits sheds light on emerging maintenance techniques and underscores specific areas in need of focus. Such consistent care is designed to ward off expensive interruptions and guarantees the warehouse remains a paragon of efficiency, all while keeping staff and inventory secure.

9. Utilization of Technology for Monitoring

Leveraging modern technology, including sophisticated warehouse management systems and sensors placed on racks, significantly augments the oversight of rack conditions.

These innovative solutions are programmed to alert personnel about potential issues promptly, providing a window to mitigate them before escalating into larger, more expensive setbacks.

10. Implementing a System for Reporting Damages

Establishing a straightforward and encouraging process for reporting any rack damage or wear proves invaluable. Cultivating a workplace culture where every team member feels compelled to report problems, no matter how minor, at the moment of discovery is essential.

Spotting issues early is a linchpin in dodging more severe complications later. Fostering a sense of stewardship and commitment towards the upkeep of the warehouse’s infrastructure instigates a proactive stance on problem-solving and heightens the safety and efficiency of operations.

Conclusion

The robustness and efficacy of pallet racking systems are the bedrock of smooth warehouse operations. Warehouse managers who take these tips and strategies on board can drastically reduce the risk of damage, securing a safe and productive environment for their essential storage solutions.

Each strategy, from diligent inspections and thorough training to advanced condition monitoring, is instrumental in safeguarding the system’s operation. Get in touch with SEE Racking Inspections for further information and guidance – our seasoned team is adept at ensuring your pallet racking systems are upheld to the utmost standards. Embrace the peace of mind that comes with optimized, safe, and efficient warehouse operations by reaching out today.

Pallet Racking Systems: A Cost-Benefit Analysis

Pallet Racking Systems

If you’re running a warehouse or distribution centre, then you have a deeper insight than most into potentially the most important part of the set-up – the racking systems. These storage units are the lynchpin of effective operations, letting you maximize the space you have while also increasing efficiency in storing/picking.

Of course, choosing the right pallet racking systems is complex. There’s a range of different types of racking you have to choose from – each with its own benefits, ideal use cases, and (of course) price points.

In this blog, we’ll take a look at some of the more popular racking options and show the cost-benefit of each. The goal is to provide you with all the information you need to make an informed, data-driven decision for your own warehouse operations.

Understanding Pallet Racking Systems

Pallet racking systems, the structural foundation for warehouse organization, vary widely in design – each tailored to specific storage needs. Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Selective Racking Systems – Flexible and accessible, perfect for a variety of goods.
  • Drive-In/Drive-Through Systems – Ideal for high-density storage of similar items.
  • Push-Back Racking Systems – Enhances storage density and accessibility, suitable for high-turnover inventory.
  • Cantilever Racking Systems – Best for long, bulky items, optimizing space and accessibility.

Key Factors Affecting Cost and Benefit

Evaluating a racking system’s value involves considering multiple factors:

  1. Installation Expenses
  2. Storage Capacity
  3. Space Utilization
  4. Product Accessibility
  5. System Scalability

These elements influence both the immediate investment and the long-term operational gains, guiding warehouses towards efficient and cost-effective operations.

Individual Cost-Benefit Analyses

Selective Racking Systems

Selective racking stands out for its flexibility and accessibility, making it a go-to option for a wide array of warehouses. Here’s what sets it apart:

  • Accessibility: Every pallet is directly accessible, simplifying inventory management.
  • Versatility: Adapts easily to various product sizes and weights, accommodating diverse inventory.
  • Common Use Cases: Ideal for warehouses with a broad product range requiring frequent access.

Businesses with fluctuating inventory levels or those that handle a variety of goods will find selective racking an invaluable asset.

Initial Costs vs. Operational Benefits: Affords direct access to all pallets, streamlining inventory management.

Ideal Use Cases: Warehouses needing frequent access to a diverse product range.

Drive-In/Drive-Through Racking

Drive-in and drive-through racking systems are designed for high-density storage, minimizing floor space usage while maximizing storage capacity. Key features include:

  • High-Density Storage: Stores pallets deeply in multiple rows, reducing aisle space.
  • Design Features: Drive-in racking has entry points at one end, while drive-through allows entry from both ends, enhancing flow-through efficiency.
  • Ideal For: Operations with large quantities of similar items and a Last In, First Out (LIFO) or First In, First Out (FIFO) inventory management system.

Businesses looking to optimize space in their warehouse, particularly those with seasonal goods, will benefit greatly from these systems.

Cost Structure: Higher upfront and maintenance costs, offset by space maximization.

When It Shines: Best for uniform product storage, maximizing space efficiency.

Push-Back Racking Systems

Push-back racking systems offer an ingenious solution for storing multiple pallets in a single lane. Their standout aspects include:

  • Increased Density: Pallets are stored on wheeled carts that push back along inclined rails, allowing deep storage.
  • Operational Efficiency: Facilitates easy access and storage, enhancing warehouse throughput.
  • Who Benefits: Warehouses that require high-density storage without sacrificing selectivity – perfect for rotating stocks or those with intermediate turnover rates.

Companies aiming to increase storage density while maintaining good access to a variety of SKUs will find push-back racking to be an excellent choice.

Investment and Returns: Offers a balance of higher initial costs with operational efficiencies in space use and access.

Optimal Conditions: High turnover environments with palletized goods.

Cantilever Racking Systems

Cantilever Racking Systems

Cantilever racking is uniquely designed to store long, bulky items efficiently. Its distinct advantages include:

  • Open Fronts: No front columns, allowing storage of various lengths and facilitating easy loading and unloading.
  • Adjustability: Arms can be adjusted to different heights to accommodate different item sizes.
  • Use Cases: Exceptionally suited for storing materials like lumber, pipes, and furniture.

Industries dealing in construction materials, home goods, or any sector requiring the storage of long, awkward items will find cantilever racking an indispensable solution.

Cost-Benefit Dynamics: Specialized for long, bulky items, though potentially more costly, they excel in specific storage scenarios.

Best Fit: Operations that require easy access to and storage of oversized items.

Choosing Wisely for Your Warehouse

Selecting the perfect pallet racking systems for your warehouse is no simple purchase decision – it’s a strategic investment in your operation’s future. This decision-making process requires a comprehensive assessment of several key aspects:

Operational Demands

Consider the nature of your inventory, from size and weight to turnover rate. How accessible do your items need to be? Will you be storing a wide variety of goods, or is your inventory more uniform?

Budgetary Limits

Initial costs can vary widely between racking systems, but so can their impact on long-term operational costs. Factor in not only the purchase and installation expenses but also the potential savings in space optimization and improved efficiency.

Future Growth Expectations

Anticipate the evolution of your warehouse operations. Can the racking system scale or adapt as your business grows? Is it flexible enough to accommodate future changes in inventory or operations?

This holistic approach ensures that your chosen system not only meets your current needs but also adapts to future challenges, safeguarding your investment against obsolescence.

Conclusion

The right pallet racking system, chosen with foresight and understanding, can dramatically enhance storage efficiency and operational dynamics, steering your warehouse towards achieving its strategic objectives.

With careful consideration and strategic planning, your choice will lay the foundation for a resilient, efficient, and scalable warehouse operation, ensuring a competitive edge in the logistics landscape. Find out more on the SEE Racking Inspections blog.

What Should You Know About Pallet Racking Installation in the Warehouse?

Pallet Racking Installation

Pallet racking systems offer organised and efficient ways to store a wide variety of goods in warehouses and distribution centres. These systems maximise storage space and streamline inventory movement and management – but their effectiveness is based on proper installation.

Correctly installing pallet racking is essential for ensuring the safety and operational efficiency of the warehouse. Inadequate or incorrect installation WILL lead to significant safety hazards and operational disruptions, which is why there needs to be such a strong emphasis on attention to detail and adherence to best practices during installation.

Types of Pallet Racking Systems

Pallet racking systems come in a variety of designs, each catering to specific storage requirements and warehouse configurations. Each of these systems has distinct advantages and can be tailored to meet the specific demands of different warehouse operations.

  • Selective pallet racking offers easy access to every pallet, making it a versatile choice for a wide range of goods. It’s particularly suited to warehouses with a high variety of stock items.
  • Drive-in racking systems are ideal for storing large quantities of uniform products and excel in maximizing space usage. They are particularly beneficial for items with longer shelf life and fewer turnover requirements.
  • Push-back racking offers both high-density storage and better selectivity, suitable for operations dealing with bulk storage and rapid stock rotation. Each new pallet pushes the previous one deeper into the racking lane, allowing for efficient use of space.
  • Cantilever racking is designed for long, heavy, or awkwardly shaped items (like timber or piping). With no front columns, it allows easier handling and is adjustable to fit varying sizes of goods.

Planning and Design Considerations of Warehouse Racking Installation

Effective planning and thoughtful layout design are vital components in pallet racking installation. This involves assessing the available warehouse space to maximize storage capacity while ensuring ease of access and movement within the facility. Remember that proper utilization of vertical space is as important as the horizontal, particularly in warehouses with limited floor space.

Accessibility is another key consideration. Racking systems should be designed to allow for the smooth operation of material handling equipment, like forklifts and pallet trucks, without compromising safety – this includes considering aisle width, turning circles, and clearance heights.

Additionally, the type of goods being stored plays a key role in the design process. Factors such as product weight, size, and turnover rate dictate the type of racking system required – for example, high-turnover items need to be easily reachable, influencing the choice of racking type and its placement within the warehouse.

Considering these factors in the planning phase (before purchase and installation) will ensure that the racking system is efficient and aligns with the operational workflow and safety needs.

Understanding Load Capacity and Distribution

Load capacity refers to the maximum weight each shelf and overall racking system can safely hold – exceeding this limit risks structural integrity, potentially leading to collapses that can endanger both personnel and goods. Understanding (and sticking to) the specified load capacities is essential for maintaining a safe warehouse environment.

To calculate load capacity, both the weight of the stored items and the distribution of this weight across the shelves must be considered. Distributing the load evenly across the shelves is critical to prevent imbalance – uneven distribution can cause excessive stress on certain parts of the racking, increasing the risk of structural failure.

Regular training for warehouse staff on understanding and respecting these load limits is the only way to ensure ongoing safety and operational efficiency.

Pallet Racking Safety Standards and Compliance

Safety standards and regulations play an integral role in guiding pallet racking installations. These standards are designed to ensure that racking systems are safe, reliable, and capable of handling specified loads with a much-reduced risk of failure. They cover various aspects, including material quality, design, installation procedures, and load capacities.

Adherence to safety and compliance standards helps prevent workplace accidents and associated liabilities – it also protects businesses from legal repercussions that might arise from non-compliance, such as fines or legal actions in the event of accidents.

Importantly, following these guidelines assures the safety of employees and the security of stored goods. It instils confidence among staff and management, knowing that their work environment meets established safety criteria and is regularly reviewed to maintain these standards.

The Pallet Racking Installation Process

The installation process of pallet racking requires precision and expertise. Initially, it involves a thorough assessment of the warehouse space to determine the optimal layout for the racking system. Following this, the ground will need to be prepared to ensure it can adequately support the total weight of the racks and stored goods.

The actual assembly begins with erecting the frames and beams according to the manufacturer’s specifications – this step must be handled with precision to ensure the structure’s stability and alignment, as even one incorrectly fitted part or loose bolt can compromise the overall structure. After the racking is in place, additional components like bracing, safety locks, and load-bearing shelves should be added.

Throughout this process, the importance of professional installation services cannot be overstated. Engaging experts means that your racking installation meets safety standards and that your kit is set up for optimal performance and longevity. Professionals bring the necessary experience and tools to handle complex installations, significantly reducing the risk of errors that could compromise safety.

Pallet Racking Maintenance and Inspections

Regular maintenance and inspections are vital for sustaining the safety and longevity of pallet racking systems. Post-installation, it is essential to routinely check the structural integrity, including examining for any damage or wear, ensuring bolts and braces are tightly secured, and verifying that load limits are clearly displayed (and respected). These inspections help in identifying any potential issues early, preventing more significant problems down the line.

Consistent maintenance extends the life of the racking system and ensures the ongoing safety of warehouse employees and the protection of stored goods – and should be considered a core aspect of responsible warehouse management.

Pallet Racking Installation: Common Mistakes to Avoid

During pallet racking installation, common mistakes to avoid include neglecting to level and secure racks properly, underestimating the importance of load capacity limits, ignoring manufacturer’s guidelines, and overlooking regular safety checks.

Additionally, failing to consider aisle space for material handling equipment can lead to operational inefficiencies and safety hazards (don’t forget that forklifts may need to pass each other, turn, or reverse out of the racking with a load).

Next Steps

The installation of pallet racking systems is an extremely important step in establishing a safe and efficient warehouse. This process involves understanding the various types of racking systems, careful planning and design, adherence to load capacity guidelines, and compliance with safety standards.

Professional installation and regular maintenance and inspections are essential to ensure the longevity and reliability of these systems – which is why you should reach out to SEE Racking Inspections. Our SEMA-approved team can help ensure that your warehouse environment is safe and legally compliant – protecting your people, stock, equipment, and business.

The Essential Guide to Pallet Racking Inspections in Warehouses

Pallet Racking Inspections

Pallet racking systems are typically at the heart of warehousing operations, providing critical storage solutions. These systems are not only fundamental for organizing products efficiently but also play a key role in maintaining workplace safety – however, regular inspections of these racking systems are essential, as they ensure that warehouses operate within safety norms while maximizing storage space.

This article examines why regular pallet racking inspections are imperative for maintaining warehouse safety and highlights their significance in preserving the structural integrity and functionality of these systems.

Understanding Warehouse Pallet Racking Systems

Pallet racking systems, the skeletal framework of warehouse storage, are ingeniously designed to store materials on pallets across multiple levels in horizontal rows. These systems come in various types and designs, each tailored to meet specific storage needs and optimize space utilization.

Selective racks are widely favoured for their accessibility, allowing easy retrieval of items, while drive-in racks offer a solution for high-density storage, maximizing space by enabling pallets to be stored in depth. Other types include push-back and pallet flow racks, which are optimal for high-throughput operations, while cantilever racks are ideal for long and bulky items.

Understanding the diversity and functionality of these systems is key to appreciating their critical role in efficient warehouse operations and inventory management.

Potential Risks of Neglected Pallet Racking Systems

The neglect of regular maintenance for pallet racking systems can lead to dire outcomes. Rack collapses and accidents from compromised structural integrity are not just theoretical risks – they are real events with potentially devastating consequences. These incidents can result in serious injuries to staff and significant damage to stored goods and warehouse equipment.

Workflow disruptions from such events can be severe, leading to operational downtime and loss of productivity. The financial impact is often substantial, affecting a company’s profitability through lost inventory, workers’ compensation claims, legal actions, and even potential penalties.

Regular maintenance and inspections are essential to mitigate these risks and ensure the ongoing safety and efficiency of warehouse operations.

Legal and Compliance Aspects

Adhering to legal requirements and safety standards is non-negotiable in warehouse operations – regular and thorough inspections are critical to ensure compliance with these standards, playing an important role in safeguarding against accidents and legal repercussions.

Non-compliance can lead to severe consequences, including hefty fines, legal disputes, and jeopardized insurance coverage, which can tarnish a company’s reputation and financial stability. Additionally, adherence to these standards is vital for ensuring the safety and well-being of employees, reinforcing the company’s commitment to a safe working environment.

It’s imperative for warehouse managers to stay updated on these regulations and implement rigorous safety protocols to maintain a compliant and safe operation.

Benefits of Regular Warehouse Racking Inspections

Conducting regular pallet racking inspections yields significant benefits. These include enhanced safety, leading to a reduced risk of accidents and injuries. Additionally, regular checks can extend the lifespan of racking systems and improve overall operational efficiency. Warehouses that adhere to strict inspection schedules should expect to experience fewer accidents and report higher productivity levels, underscoring the value of these practices.

What Does a Pallet Racking Inspection Entail?

A pallet racking inspection involves a comprehensive evaluation of the system’s condition. Inspectors examine structural integrity, load capacities, and the condition of safety accessories – they will look for early signs of damage, such as dents or corrosion, and assess the overall stability of the system.

This process is thorough, ensuring that every component of the racking system meets safety standards and operates effectively.

Who Should Conduct Pallet Racking Inspections?

Pallet racking inspections should only be carried out by individuals with the necessary expertise. While in-house checks by trained staff are beneficial for ongoing maintenance, formal assessments require SEMA-certified professionals. These experts possess the knowledge and skills to identify potential issues and recommend appropriate corrective actions – SEMA racking inspections ensure that the racking systems meet all safety and operational standards.

Creating a Culture of Safety in the Warehouse

Regular inspections play a vital role in promoting a safety-first mindset within warehouse operations. Encouraging staff to prioritize safety and be proactive in identifying potential hazards can directly lead to a more secure and efficient working environment. Beyond just inspections, establishing a safety-centric culture involves several key strategies:

  • Regular safety training sessions keep staff updated on best practices and emerging risks, creating a knowledgeable workforce equipped to handle various scenarios.
  • Open communication about safety practices, where employees feel comfortable reporting potential hazards and discussing safety concerns, is essential. It encourages a collaborative approach to safety, where every team member feels responsible and empowered to contribute.
  • Recognizing and rewarding safe work practices also plays a key role. Implementing recognition programs for employees who consistently adhere to safety protocols or who contribute innovative safety ideas can significantly boost morale and reinforce the importance of safety in everyday operations.

These initiatives, combined with a commitment to regular equipment and process reviews, ensure that a culture of safety is both a policy and a core value integrated into every aspect of warehouse operations.

Incorporating Technology in Pallet Racking Inspections

Technological advancements, like warehouse management systems (WMS) and IoT sensors, are revolutionizing pallet racking inspections. These tools offer real-time monitoring and advanced analytics, aiding in preventative maintenance and enhancing overall safety.

The future of pallet racking safety lies in the further integration of such technologies, paving the way for more automated and efficient inspection processes.

Conclusion

Regular pallet racking inspections are fundamental to maintaining a safe and efficient warehouse environment. They prevent accidents, ensure compliance with legal standards, and contribute to a culture of safety. Embracing technological advancements further enhances these inspections, promising a future where warehouse operations are safer, more efficient, and technologically driven.

Get in touch with the SEMA-certified team at SEE Racking Inspections to discuss your inspection needs and make the move toward a more productive and secure warehouse operation.

Need a SEMA Approved Inspection for Pallet Racking in London? Contact SEE Today!

a female worker conducting a pallet racking inspection in London

If you have pallet racking in London, pallet racking in the South East, or pallet racking anywhere in the UK or Ireland, Storage Equipment Experts can deliver racking inspections from SEMA approved inspectors and racking inspection training for your business.

Whether it’s AR pallet racking, Esmena pallet racking, or any other kind of warehouse storage racking system, Storage Equipment Experts are there to deliver racking inspections and racking inspection training from a SEMA approved racking inspector. We are experts in all kinds of storage equipment. After all, it’s in our name.

We have performed hundreds of inspections on pallet racking in London and pallet racking in the South East. However, we’re also happy to travel anywhere in the UK or Ireland.

We Know All There is About Pallet Racking in London

Pallet racking in London can be found all over the city and the whole of the capital is dependant on its safety. From factories, to storage facilities, to art spaces and everything in between, London is a city bustling with business and, as a result, London is a city filled with warehouses.

All of those warehouses mean different types of storage equipment. Fortunately, we at Storage Equipment Experts know all there is to know about inspecting Schaefer racking, PSS racking, Dexion racking, Link 51 racking, Mecalux racking, Redirack racking, Apex racking, Polypal racking and much more. Our SEMA approved racking inspector also has experience inspecting racking at many different kinds of businesses across London — from the Tate Modern to
Pinewood Studios.

SEE Performs the Best Inspections of Pallet Racking in London, the South East, or Anywhere in the UK or Ireland

We offer the best racking inspections by SEMA Approved inspectors in the UK or Ireland. We say that because, as well as being one of just over 100 SEMA approved pallet racking inspectors, our racking inspection expert at Storage Equipment is one of only 34 SEMA approved racking inspectors to have passed the cantilever racking inspection course run by SEMA.

So whether it’s pallet racking in London, cantilever racking in London, or any kind of storage system anywhere in the UK or Ireland, be sure to contact us.

We can also confidently state that we offer the best pallet racking inspection training for pallet racking in London or anywhere else. Our knowledge of AR pallet racking, Esmena pallet racking, or any other kind of pallet racking system is second to none. That’s why we’ve written over 100,000 words on pallet racking maintenance and pallet racking safety.

Our training can be delivered from our base in London or from your business anywhere in the UK or Ireland. We are happy to travel for our customers, so contact us to get a quote on our pallet racking inspection training course.

What is more, Storage Equipment Experts offers the best pallet racking inspection checklist in the UK or Ireland, for FREE, alongside an infographic explaining exactly how it works. From all this, it’s easy to see why we are renowned for offering the best pallet racking inspections in London or anywhere in the UK or Ireland.

Warehouse Pallet Racking in London

As London’s population expands and the city continues to attract billions of pounds worth of tourism, it’s good to know that the city can depend on a reliable racking inspection expert to ensure its warehouses are up to scratch. After all, safe warehouses are more than places of business themselves (in the case of art spaces or storage facilities); they are often the backbone of many other London businesses.

Without a London-based supplier with a London-based warehouse, London would simply not be able to sell as much as it does to its millions of consumers. As the foremost pallet racking experts in London, the businesses of the city can relax knowing that its supply chain is being inspected by a SEMA approved racking inspector, as per HSE guidelines.

Warehouse Pallet Racking in London, the South East and Everywhere Else in the UK and Ireland

Storage Equipment Experts Head Office is based in London — in the heart of the South East — but with SEMA Approved Racking Inspectors located around the UK we are able and willing to travel all over the United Kingdom and Ireland to deliver pallet racking inspections. We have happy customers from Manchester to Scotland and from Somerset to Ireland.

Contact us today for the best inspections for pallet racking in London from the UK and Ireland’s best SEMA approved racking inspector.

3 Unexpected Pallet Racking Dangers and How to Avoid Them

Pallet Racking Dangers

If you don’t get your pallet racking inspection frequency right, you could fall victim to some of these lesser-known dangers.

HSE’s stance on racking inspection frequency is that every warehouse should have at least one inspection from an expert, such as a SEMA approved racking inspector, once a year and that regular racking inspections should be performed by “technically competent” staff.

HSE outlines this advice its guide to warehouse health and safety, which we recommend that all warehouse owners read in full. Not following this advice, or not fully understanding it, can lead to some pallet racking dangers that you may not have even thought of.

Floor Safety: More Than Slips, Trips, And Falls

When most people think of floor safety, they think of yellow foldaway plastic signs saying “WET FLOOR” and gritted walkways. This kind of floor safety is important and it’s the subject of HSE’s INDG2255 “Preventing Slips and Trips at Work: A Brief Guide”.

However, with regards to storage systems, whether that’s pallet racking or cantilever racking, there are two other major kinds of floor-related danger. Firstly, there are uneven floors. HSE recommends that racking is installed on even flooring. Otherwise, the racking will be unbalanced even when there is no load. Secondly, there are weak floors. We don’t typically think of floors as “weak”, especially those on the ground floor.

However, it’s worth finding out what the maximum weight your floors can take is, how you can strengthen them, and where particular weaknesses in your floor might be. Your racking system might be able to handle a certain amount of weight but, if your floor can’t, you’re in a huge amount of danger.

Knowing exactly how and where to install your racking can be difficult for those without proper experience; this is why HSE recommends that it is done by “competent people”.

It then recommends installation training from the Storage Equipment Installers Registration Scheme (SEIRS), who are overseen by SEMA. Much like with racking inspection training and racking inspection frequency, HSE has its recommendations, but it is ultimately the warehouse owner’s decision to follow or not follow those recommendations.

In fact, this brings us to an important legal change that occurred with regards to HSE in 2015. It highlights yet another racking danger that the average employer might not be aware of.

Technically Competent and The 2015 CDM Regulations

“Competent” is a word HSE likes to use a lot in its guide to warehouse safety, and it’s a word which is intentionally vague. This because, since the introduction of the updated CDM regulations in 2015, it is ultimately the warehouse owner’s responsibility (the “client”) to maintain safety in their warehouse. In other words, a “competent” person is whoever a warehouse owner thinks a competent person is.

That said, HSE has its recommendations and, if the worst should happen and a warehouse owner was found flouting these recommendations, then that warehouse owner (that “client”) could be held legally responsible.

This change replaces HSE’s old system of enforcing its recommendations with inspectors. Moreover, according to Tony Mitchell from HSE, the previous system allowed anyone with a card to call themselves an “expert” or “technically competent” and, by the time the regulations were introduced, there were over 300 of these “card schemes”.

Nowadays, there is no enforcement and there are no cards. There are only HSE’s recommendations and the people who a client believes are “technically competent” or an “expert”. If an accident or a fatality happens and the recommendations weren’t followed, then there would be legal action. What is more, the client responsible for the accident would be expected to defend the “technically competent” people or “experts” who worked in their warehouse.

This change can be difficult to understand because it doesn’t change any of HSE’s advice. In fact, upon learning about the new CDM regulations, most employers will continue to act in the same way. However, the unexpected pallet racking danger that this brings with it is that a warehouse owner may have a very lax definition of “expert” or “technically competent”.

This reason, we recommend following HSE’s advice as closely as possible. For example, HSE recommends internal racking inspections by a “technically competent” person.

For this, consider racking inspection training from a SEMA approved racking inspector — an inspector which HSE labels an “expert” — in order to give your staff the technical competence they need.

Racking Inspection Frequency and Bad Lighting

Bad lighting is a much bigger problem for workplaces than most realise. Badly placed lighting fixtures can be troublesome for racking systems in particular for two reasons.

  1. They could be physically blocking the racking
  2. They do not light the racking system well enough

Avoiding the former danger is simply a matter of moving the lighting far enough away from the racking system or installing the racking system so that this is not an issue. Avoiding the latter danger can be slightly more difficult.

The correct racking inspection frequency for internal, staff-permed racking inspections is up to the warehouse owner. However, with bad lighting, it won’t matter how high this racking inspection frequency is. An expert SEMA approved racking inspector, knows exactly what to look for and where to find it. However, your staff will not be experienced enough to know if your racking is damaged under bad lighting — no matter how many times they inspect it.

To make your warehouse safer, you need to make sure that every part of your warehouse is well lit. This can be difficult and, as objects move around the warehouse and light bulbs fade, it changes. Still, as with all safety precautions, keeping your warehouse well-lit is a constant process.

Warehouse avoids these unexpected pallet racking dangers with a racking inspection by a SEMA approved inspector from SEE.

Pallet Racking Safety Checklists and The Heinz #CanSong

a man and a woman performing a racking inspection

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) criticised Heinz’s #CanSong ad campaign for encouraging a lack of safety. So what can Heinz learn from pallet racking safety checklists?

Heinz’s #CanSong rang hollow with the ASA after the latter complained that the well-known baked beans company were encouraging “behaviour that could be dangerous for children to emulate” in their recent advert. The advert depicted a lot of different people using used Heinz cans and their hands to create a song. The advert even began with instructions which included taping the top of the can to avoid cutting your fingers.

Evidently, though, this recommendation was not enough to quell the ASA, who warned Heinz “to ensure that future ads did not condone or encourage behaviour that prejudiced health and safety”.

Who Are the ASA? How Can an Advert Be “Unsafe”?

While taping the edges of the can was not enough of a safety recommendation for the ASA, the real question is how and why the ASA is able to call adverts out on their levels of safety.

Firstly, the ASA is not a government organisation; it is an independent body. This independent body, however, does have the power to ban adverts, and there are good reasons for both why the ASA is an independent body and why it has the power to ban adverts.

With regards to the former, the ASA being independent means that, in theory, it is not in the pocket of any big businesses. As a result, it can make rulings against large companies (such as Heinz) without fearing repercussions. In fact, according to its own assessment, companies are happy to take on board the ASA’s recommendations, though political campaigns are another story.

So the ASA is an independent body which regulates commercial advertisements but not political ones. But why should it have the power to ban adverts? And why is it banning adverts based on health and safety concerns?

70% of the complaints that the ASA deals with are about false advertising. When a company offers a product or service at a certain price and then sell it to you a different price, they are probably breaking the law and that’s where the ASA steps in. 30% of the complaints the ASA deals with are about harm. This is why the Heinz advert got canned.

Heinz and Pallet Racking Safety Checklists

Whether or not the ASA was right to ban Heinz’s advert is a matter of debate. However, what the issue highlights is how careful businesses need to be when they hand out advice, lest that advice injures people.

Nowhere is this truer than with pallet racking safety checklists. After all, getting your finger cut on a can because of a song from an advert is one thing. Being involved in a warehouse racking collapse that happened because of a faulty racking inspection is quite another.

That’s why the quality of a racking inspection checklist is so important. If you’re told that your pallet racking safety checklist is written by an expert, then it absolutely should be. This brings us back to why the ASA is so important and why the Heinz ruling, though it may have been silly, highlights what the ASA is there for.

The ASA Means Racking Inspection Checklists You Can Trust

Thanks to the ASA, when we say that our pallet racking safety checklist is written by a SEMA approved racking inspector, you can rest assured that we’re telling the truth. The quality of our racking inspection checklist template is also under similar scrutiny, as well it should be. We are confident that, when combined with our racking inspection training, our checklist can be used to safely and accurately perform the kind of regular racking inspections that HSE recommends in its guide to warehouse safety.

We and HSE also recommend a racking inspection by a SEMA approved racking inspector at least once a year from an outside expert. This is because, as much confidence as we have in our racking inspection training and our racking inspection form, we also respect HSE’s advice. Two sets of eyes are often better than one, and an outsider is necessary to spot the dangers that you might have otherwise missed.

The ASA is there to make sure that the safety advice we offer (whether that’s through promotions of our product, for free on this blog, or as part of our racking inspection services) is up to scratch. We are confident that it is, and so are our happy customers.

Download the racking inspection checklist PDF right now from Storage Equipment Experts for free!

Pallet Racking Safety and You: An Introduction to Pallet Racking Safety

pallet racking safety

Businesses of All Sizes, From All Over the World, Can Benefit From Knowing a Bit More About Pallet Racking Safety.

Pallet racking is a big asset to any business, but it’s also a big responsibility. Pallet racks are large structures that, when not used properly, are cumbersome at best and dangerous at worst. A warehouse that uses pallet racking well can operate with an efficiency to make any competitor jealous. Though laws about pallet racking safety may differ around the world, the key ideas remain the same. That’s why we at Storage Equipment Experts have created this infographic.

Pallet Racking Safety and Racking Inspection Training

Our knowledge of pallet racking comes from the wisdom accrued from years of being on the front line of the racking industry. We’re always keen to share our knowledge, and that’s why we offer rack inspection training delivered by rack inspection experts.

Racking inspection training allows businesses to ensure their pallet racking is inspect by their own staff.

Checking that pallet racking is properly secure, checking that it’s not bent, checking that it’s not damaged, and checking that it’s not overloaded in some way: these thing are not just one skill. They are a series of skills that can be acquired by varying levels of training.

And so while every country recognises the importance of this training, different countries have different attitudes to it. This is why some countries, like the UK and Australia, require that a racking inspection expert from outside your business inspect your pallet racking and other countries, like the US, do not.

The UK and Australia then also differ with how often a racking inspection expert should inspect your pallet racking. Furthermore, the two countries also differ with what constitutes a racking inspection expert in the first place. All of which is why we made this infographic. We want to clear up a lot of the confusion surrounding pallet racking safety.

At its heart, the principles of pallet racking safety are simple. Though they differ from country to country, the core ideas should be the same. In reality, it shouldn’t matter what country you’re operating in. We know this to be true because, despite being performing racking inspections as per HSE’s guidelines, we have offered our insight to American, South African, and Asian publications.

Pallet racking safety can be easily achieved by following the legal guidelines of your own country. Still, knowing about how pallet racking safety works in other countries can help to inform your decisions as well.

pallet racking safety inspections

Pallet racking is our passion at Storage Equipment Experts. Our desire to inform is why we provide a free racking inspection checklist as well as SEMA-approved racking inspections and rack inspection training. We offer a variety of services because we understand that pallet racking safety is a varied discipline. Pallet racking safety is always a worthwhile investment, and so it’s never a bad time to call or email us!

Contact Storage Equipment Experts for a visit from the racking inspection experts. We aim to provide the best racking inspection training and pallet rack inspections in the UK and we do so by adhering to HSE’s strict standards.

The Future of Pallet Racking and Warehouses

Future of Pallet Racking and Warehouses

Legal writer and academic Peter Drucker once said, “Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window”. The quote has two morals: the first is that predicting the future is hard, perhaps dangerous, and the second is that to predict the future we need to look at the past or “look out the back window”.

With regards to the modern warehouse and the future of pallet racking, those who wanted to predict the future would have to take note of its role in the Industrial Revolution. If another revolution is on its way, as some generational theorists predict, will the modern warehouse and pallet racking play a part? And what part will it play?

Safe and Sustainable: Pallet Racking Inspections, Racking Inspection Courses, and the Environment

The environment is the key issue of our times, and so the future of warehousing and logistics will need to recognise this. The recent warehouse explosions in Tianjin, China are a sign of what the warehouses of the future will look like if warehouse safety and the environment are ignored in the name of profit. Unsafe production and environmental disaster usually go hand in hand, as the lethal air pollution caused by palm oil production in Indonesia has made clear.

Future warehouses should be ones that invest in sustainable practices. More racking inspection courses and pallet racking inspections will ensure that businesses are safer and are looking to the future. Alongside this, businesses will need to be more environmentally friendly. After all, just as the problems related to workplace safety and the environment go hand in hand, so too do the solutions. As researcher Doug Morrow points out, sustainable business is a multifaceted concept.

Safe and cybersafe: pallet racking inspections, racking inspection courses, and digital technologies

The use of robots and digital technologies to increase the efficiency of warehouses is already happening. Amazon uses countless programs, codes, and machines to do a large amount of the work in its warehouse. This effect will only become more pronounced, and more widespread, in the future. Online shopping has lead to increased demand and increased supply. However, the speed of all of this has come at a cost. Online retail companies like Amazon rely on a system that is literally known as “chaotic storage” and workers have complained about mistreatment and lack of safety.

The future of warehouse use depends on combining the best elements of new technologies with a safe and sustainable business model. Whatever the future warehouse looks like, we at SEMA racking inspections will be there to ensure that it operates as safely and efficiently as possible. Just as pallet racking inspections have been a vital part of our warehouses in the past, pallet racking inspections are a vital part of our warehouses’ future.

Is your warehouse ready for the future? Contact Storage Equipment Experts Ltd today for racking inspection training or a pallet racking inspection from a SEMA approved racking inspector.

The History of Pallet Racking and Warehouses

History of Pallet Racking and Warehouses

From the industrial revolution to the rise of Amazon, warehouses have always been behind the scenes of a much greater historical narrative of business. But where did it all begin? How did we come to live in a world where warehouses and pallet racking are so essential to companies and economies?

The year 15,000 BW (Before Warehouses)

Warehouses, in different forms, have arguably been around as long as humans have had agriculture. Settling down in one spot meant that humans could harvest food rather than hunt for it. All this harvested food needs to be stored and so, in that sense, humans have been using warehouses for 15,000 years. Still, the warehouse as we know it today is a much more recent invention.

The Modern Warehouse, Pallet Racking Systems, and the Industrial Revolution

A planned and efficient warehouse with organised pallet racking systems that categorically stores items en masses has its roots in the industrial revolution. The modern warehouse meant that humans could produce huge surpluses that allowed for jobs beyond farming and making things from raw materials. This surplus has been hugely important in human history. As John Green puts it, if you live somewhere other than a farm, enjoy free education, eat blueberries during the winter, or live anything even resembling a modern lifestyle, then you have the Industrial Revolution to thank. And without warehouses or pallet racking systems, the Industrial Revolution could not have happened.

Warehouses Today and the Importance of SEMA Approved Pallet Racking Inspections

Since the Industrial Revolution, warehouses have gone through many changes. The first is that they became more functional, rather than being the aesthetically pleasing buildings that they once were. This increase in functionality is a sign of how warehouses have multiplied. Now, warehouses have a variety of uses. Some of the oldest once have become part of history, their architecture making them perfect for art installations or museums. More technologically advanced warehouses have helped fuel the rise of online shopping. Amazon, for example, prides itself on a well maintained warehouse and an excellent pallet racking system.

The current challenge for warehouses is not rapid growth, but steady growth. In less economically developed regions, we have seen the disastrous costs of valuing efficiency of business over safety when it comes to warehouse use. This is why SEMA approved pallet racking inspections and racking inspection courses are so important. The warehouse of today, and the warehouse of the future, should aim to be smart and safe in order to be profitable.

Make sure your business has the warehouse of the future! Contact Storage Equipment Experts Ltd today for a pallet racking inspection from a SEMA approved racking inspector.