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Annual Racking Inspections – why are they needed?

Clare Hollister

Having covered some of the danger signs companies should be looking out for in a previous article, Stakapal are committed to raising the awareness of racking safety standards. With over 55 years of industry experience behind them they also emphasise how having the correct maintenance programme in place will ultimately save you money in the long run.

Keeping the storage equipment in your warehouse in full working order is a challenge most companies have to deal with on a daily basis. Racking systems are by default subjected to frequent bumps and knocks from mechanical handling equipment when loading or unloading product ranges. 

It can be very difficult for your PRRS (Person Responsible for Racking Safety) to be fully aware of every incident that occurs during any normal working week. They are obviously reliant upon the on-site reporting methods being adhered to and unfortunately, some operators forget to report or choose not to report what they consider to be minimal damage. An innocuous little bump to them could, over time contribute towards a weakening of the overall structure that if left unattended may ultimately lead to a collapse.

Understanding your Responsibilities                                                                                                                                    

Whilst a PRRS may be adept at picking up the obvious signs of damage, an expert inspection involves a much more thorough process that will identify any underlying issues that could potentially compromise your systems in the future.

Companies should therefore be booking a full inspection of their racking systems on an annual basis. It is also worth noting that in the event of a serious incident, the HSE will focus on the safety measures that were in place at the time and whether the accident was in fact preventable.

An expert Racking Inspection must be performed by a trained inspector such as a SARI (SEMA Approved Racking Inspector) in order to meet your legal requirements under PUWER (Provisions and Use of Work Equipment Regulations).

SEMA                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       SEMA (Storage Equipment Manufacturers Association) are the industry body responsible for developing the safe design, installation and use of storage equipment supplied by its members. As Full members of SEMA, Stakapal play a proactive role in the development of standards for the storage industry in the UK and creating awareness of relevant safety standards in conjunction with SEMA.


Stakapal are also the only manufacturer who employs their own in-house SEIRS registered (Storage Equipment Installers Registration Scheme) teams of installers. This guarantees their systems are installed by professionals with appropriate training who adhere to the SEMA Guidelines and Codes of Practice.


The HSE’s current document HSG76 Health and safety guidance (Warehousing and storage) recommends that expert inspections are undertaken as below:

647 A technically competent person might be a trained specialist within the organisation, a specialist from your racking supplier or an independent qualified rack inspector.

SARI (SEMA Approved Racking Inspectors)                                                                                                                                                                                                        

The HSE recognises a SARI as being a technically competent individual capable of performing an annual racking inspection.     

SEMA operates a national network of Approved Racking Inspectors (SARI’s) throughout the UK who provide a clear benchmark for the standards of the industry. 

All SARI’s operate under a traffic light reporting system starting with a Green classification that needs to be monitored, Amber indicating required remedial work through to Red requiring immediate offloading/action. They will supply a comprehensive and detailed report providing any action that is required along with the appropriate time-scales.

Stakapal deliver the complete package                                                                                                                                       

Stakapal manufacture a full range of bespoke storage equipment options that are specifically designed to meet the demands of the panel and joinery industries. They provide a full concept to completion service from initial site survey through to design, manufacture and installation.

Following the installation of their systems on your site you can be sure they remain in safe hands as they offer all of their customers the facility to book an annual Racking Inspection with one of their in-house SARI Inspectors. This not only guarantees continuity of service levels but also helps to ensure that your systems remain in relatively good condition for years to come.

For more information about the range of products available from Stakapal, to request a site visit or to learn more about their after sales Racking Inspection services please visit

Please note that if your existing systems were sourced from another supplier you can still have it inspected annually by one of the SARI’s listed on the SEMA website