In the UK, HSE are the government board responsible for health and safety at work, and they recommend that a SEMA approved racking inspector visit a warehouse for an expert inspection at least once a year. However, this idea is not a given. Overseas, racking inspectors and the racking inspection industry can range from quite different to completely unrecognisable.
Racking inspectors, racking inspections and racking safety in the USA
Oscar Wilde once quipped that “we really have everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language.” Well over a century later, this aphorism still holds true… to a certain extent.
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OSHA is the US’s federal bureaucracy in charge of workplace safety. As a result, OSHA resembles HSE in several ways. The two bodies differ when it comes to the issue of racking safety. While HSE has a pretty clear definition of what racking safety involves, OSHA does not. This has led people like business journalist Travis Rhoden to criticise OSHA for their lack of clarity.
In OSHA’s 2002 document Materials Handling and Storing, racking inspections are not mentioned once. Inspections are referred to in general, with OSHA recommending that regular warehouse
inspections be conducted by staff, but racking inspections specifically are not mentioned. Because of OSHA’s vagueness, Rhoden recommends that businesses make sure their racking is inspected and their staff know how to do racking inspections as well.
When writing for American publications, we have always recommended expert racking inspections and racking inspection training. The laws may be different, but the standards should remain the same.
Racking inspectors, racking inspections and racking safety in Australia
The Australian government’s racking safety regulations can vary by state, but it is Victoria’s racking safety regulations that are most similar to the UK. Work Safe Victoria, the state’s department of health and safety, recommend pallet racking inspections once every six to twelve months. Much like HSE, inspections from a “technically competent” person are recommended. They also use a traffic light system for internal inspections.
Racking inspectors, racking inspections and racking safety in Canada
Similar to Australia, racking inspection regulations in
Canada can vary by province. In Ontario, warehouse safety inspections are carried out by the Ministry of Labour who expect that warehouse staff are trained enough to carry out daily racking inspections. This system emphasises the need for pallet racking inspection training for staff.
In the UK,
HSE also recommends that staff carry out internal inspections. It does not specify the regularity of these inspections, but if your staff receive pallet racking inspection training from a SEMA approved racking inspector then daily racking inspections can easily be done.
In many English-speaking countries, racking inspectors and racking inspections are still a big part of warehouse safety. Racking safety transcends political and cultural boundaries, and the reason for this is that it’s the right thing to do.
Contact Storage Equipment Experts today for pallet racking inspections and pallet racking inspection training from the UK racking inspection experts who know that safety is safety, no matter where you are!