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Train to gain on safe maintenance with SEMA

17 October 2019

Calling managers (including warehouse), supervisors, operatives, team leaders and safety representatives in end-user businesses plus potential inspectors, storage distributors and suppliers; and safety professionals!

You know that storage racking should be properly maintained and in good order. Rack safety inspections are required to prevent and minimise the effects of accidents, to comply with the requirements of PUWER 1998 and to promote safety in the workplace. To help you comply with the most up to date Health and Safety Legislation and best practice, SEMA regularly delivers specifically designed key courses and seminars. 

How to inspect rack systems

End users should work to the SEMA “onion skin approach to rack inspection”, consisting of three layers with three overlapping levels of inspection. They are known as; immediate (used to be called the daily) inspection, the regular (used to be called the weekly) inspection and the “expert” (annual) inspection which needs to be carried out by a SEMA Approved Inspector or a trained specialist. 

For immediate and regular inspections, the end user needs to appoint a Person Responsible for Racking Safety (PRRS) who is suitably qualified and experienced. The PRRS will take responsibility for maintaining safe working practices, maintaining rack inspections and ensuring that recommended maintenance activities are carried out and recorded.

Rack Safety Awareness

SEMA recommends that in-house staff attend our Rack Safety Awareness course. This one-day course provides delegates with advice and guidance on the SEMA guidelines for rack inspections. It also offers more general advice on responsibilities of users and suppliers covering topics such as risk assessments, legal obligations, record keeping, damage levels and action points. A one-day Cantilever Rack Safety Awareness course is also available. 

How to maintain rack systems

The SEMA Rack Maintenance course is aimed at warehouse managers and supervisors, rack maintenance personnel, safety representatives, suppliers and safety professionals. This one-day course covers illustrated step by step guides with generic method statements for the safe repair of damaged racking components. This includes the key differences between maintenance versus repair explaining what is allowable and what is not permitted.


Whilst the SEMA Managing Rack Maintenance course is aimed at end users, SEMA is not advocating that end users undertake the maintenance tasks themselves. Such tasks need to be carried out by suitably qualified “teams” who have the knowledge and necessary skill-sets. One of the key objectives of the course is to illustrate what these skill-sets, pre-qualifications and accreditations are, as applied to both individuals and the team as a whole. It is unlikely that the end user will have such a team ‘in-house’ (although not impossible), the maintenance operation being more likely to fall within the remit of a professional installation company (please see other sections of this publication). The purpose of this part of the course is to provide the end user with an understanding of what they should be looking for in the maintenance team engaged by them to undertake the work.

Rack Inspection Training

The third layer of the ‘onion skin’ is the (annual) expert inspection which should be carried out by a technically trained and competent person i.e. SEMA Approved Rack Inspector (SARI), trained specialist within an organisation or a specialist from the rack supplier. 

For ‘Expert’ inspection, the SEMA Approved Rack Inspection (SARI) course is the recognised training module. This is a professional qualification for personnel whose responsibilities include the regular inspection of storage equipment. The qualification consists of a three-day intensive training course followed by a written examination and a practical assessment. There is also a requirement for successful candidates to commit to on-going CPD (Continuous Professional Development).

Qualified inspectors who meet the on-going requirement are able to use the SEMA Approved Inspector logo on individual business cards and stationery to demonstrate their qualification.

SEMA Events

Outside of the ‘classroom’ SEMA stages two external thought leadership events aimed at end users and other industry professionals to help them stay abreast of legislation, SEMA’s technical outputs and to learn from case studies on how other organisations have successfully majored on safe practice in storage.

SEMA Safety Conference: Halloween

The Annual Safety Conference addresses key storage safety concerns. First held in 2003 each conference brings together end-users, safety officials and inspectors, delegates from manufacturers, distributors and installers. Delegates and speakers share a common interest; to continuously improve the safety benchmark either within their own work environments or as part of their professional responsibility to raise standards more widely (e.g. statutory authorities). 

This year it’s an extra spooky affair as SEMA celebrates Halloween. Speakers will discuss a range of topics including risk assessments, incorrect installation of store equipment and how to avoid it, common causes of forklift accidents and understanding the personalities of our workforce and how to encourage them to make the right decisions.

Chaired by SEMA President, Jaap Vos, the safety conference this year takes place on Thursday 31st October at the National Motorcycle Museum, Solihull. New products and information will be on display from leading storage suppliers in the break-out areas. The event starts at 9.55am, includes a buffet lunch and is excellent value for money at £135 + VAT.

SEMA technical seminar

Aimed at those for whom in-depth technical knowledge on storage is a prerequisite in their professional role, SEMA’s full day technical seminar provides meaningful insight into changes required by legislation and the new support from SEMA in terms of evolving Codes of Practice and standards. 

Speakers are chosen for their significant depth of knowledge, skill and experience and usually all sit on SEMA’s Technical Committee. Recent topics have included the CE Marking assessment route via the European Assessment Documentation; and the status, application and proposed modifications of CEN EN15512: Racking Design Code. Other very usable content for “the day job” have been Dos and Don’ts review of SEMA’s market-facing, best practice promotional video on Load Notices.

If you are interested in any of SEMA’s courses and would like more information or to book a place telephone 0121 6016359 or email enquiry@sema.org.uk.