An Essential Guide to Racking Inspections

A thorough and professional regime for racking inspections in a warehouse is essential in a number of important ways.

On one level, inspections are a vital part of your safety culture that supports the wellbeing of staff, visitors and contractors.

Financially, a proper regime can mitigate against the costs of lost working time and having to replace damaged or broken racking and stock.

And most importantly for your business, the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 set out a legal requirement for work equipment to be inspected regularly.

Taking Responsibility

In a warehousing operation, the frequency of racking inspections is determined by the Person Responsible for Racking Safety (PRRS) who is a key figure in the business.

The PRRS is qualified to establish and manage the inspection regime, which is informed by a risk assessment, and is also the person to whom safety issues or damage are reported.

This person is also responsible for ensuring that any remedial action is carried out that is necessary following an inspection.

Timely Inspections

The timing and the type of inspection in a warehouse environment will take into account a range of factors:

  • Level of activity
  • Volume of traffic
  • Dimensions of the work area
  • Size and type of racking
  • Staff numbers
  • Equipment, including vehicles, used for storage and retrieval

In general, the greater these factors are, the more frequent the inspections are required.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) says racking should be checked at least every 12 months by “a trained specialist within an organisation, a specialist from the rack supplier, or an independent qualified rack inspector”.

The timing of inspections can be put into three categories:

  • Immediate inspections are reports of damage or concerns relayed by warehouse operatives that are sent to the PRRS who ensures any resulting action is carried out and documented
  • Regular visual inspections are not an incident response activity but are part of an ongoing safety regime. They take place weekly or at other intervals, depending on the risk assessment, and are carried out by a suitably trained supervisor
  • Annual inspections are a legal requirement and are carried out by a qualified racking inspector. A full report is produced that will identify damage and areas of concern, provide comment and give guidance on other warehouse activities. This level of inspection may be done twice a year, again depending on a risk assessment.

The warehouse industry body, the Storage Equipment Manufacturers’ Association (SEMA) provides inspection training and recommends that the major inspection is carried out by a SEMA Approved Rack Inspector known as a SARI.

Our Support

The inspection regime is an essential part of a warehouse operation and most importantly a legal obligation.

At Quickline, we are here to, not only, support you and reinforce your safety culture but also ensure you comply with these legal requirements.

The safety culture is important. You need your staff to report incidents and any feeling they may have about being blamed may have an impact on your safety performance.

As for inspections, Quickline inspectors are SEMA-qualified, meaning we can carry out the annual inspections that meet PUWER requirements or your more frequent safety checks.

As always, if you wish to find out more about how we can help you and your business, then get in contact, we would be pleased to hear from you.