Getting a new warehouse racking installation in place can be a logistical headache for a lot of business owners. Whether extending current racking or moving to a new facility, there are a lot of different considerations to account for.
If starting from scratch, you need to ask yourself crucial questions. Have you got the best design and choice of racking to improve operations? Are you dovetailing in new racking into an existing structure? Furthermore, how will it compromise your business while the work is going on? On top of all that, are you meeting your Health & Safety responsibilities?
In this blog, we guide you through the key questions to ask when you begin your warehouse racking installations. We also look at the best racking for your warehouse, how to choose a racking supplier and how to prepare for a warehouse racking installation.
Have I got the best racking design for my warehouse?
When planning new warehouse racking, before you even get to the installation, there is a checklist of three key areas you must cover:
- Design and racking type
Have you got the best racking for the job? Does the design work for the throughput of your stock as it travels through the warehouse? This requires extensive planning by a supplier who has experience in getting the most out of your space. Get this stage correct and it will increase storage capacity, reduce pick and packing times and improve productivity. Most importantly, it will keep everyone safe.
- Are you meeting industry regulations?
Most warehouse racking installations fall under the category of a construction project and are covered by HSE’s Construction Design & Management Regulations 2015. As the client, you are responsible for checking you have the ‘right people for the right job’. Check the suppliers credentials to ensure they meet health and safety requirements. Are they using trained labour for the design and installation of your racking?
- The right supplier
To meet conditions 1 and 2 on our checklist you need a responsible racking supplier. But, with thousands of racking suppliers listed in the UK, knowing which one to choose is a minefield. When you work with Teepee, we can prove our safety and quality credentials through our position as a SEMA Distributor Company. To gain our membership we have to meet over 40 industry and SEMA standards and demonstrate our commitment to quality and safety through an independent audit. To demonstrate our commitment to meeting SEMA’s high standards, we have to undergo the accreditation process every three years.
Once you’ve ticked all the boxes, it’s time to get the warehouse racking installation in place.
Can I install my pallet racking?
So, a commonly asked question is whether you can install your pallet racking. After all, it sounds appealing to save some costs if you’re only adding in a few additional bays. The truth is that yes, you can install your racking, but it is not something we would ever advise. To understand why, you would need to look at the apparent simplicity of the structure.
When stripped back, racking is a basic structure with very little to it. However, it is this factor that makes correct installation so important. Miss out an important part of the manufacturer’s specification or fail to address key elements in the design code and it will severely comprise the strength of the racking. Take that away and you’re looking at the nightmare of a potential racking collapse.
That’s why at Teepee we only work with installers who have gained industry qualifications in warehouse racking. Not convinced? There are a lot of advantages to making sure you only use trained installers.
What are the benefits of using trained installers?
The first critical benefit is safety. The installation of racking is a skilled job that requires a high level of practical and technical knowledge.
During the installation, to ensure your racking is up to the job, it must meet certain criteria. For example, do the number and type of floor fixings meet manufacturer tolerances? Have they been correctly positioned and tightened?
The next benefit is reducing ongoing costs. Badly installed racking is more likely to become damaged through unnecessary wear and tear weakening the integrity of the structure. Invest in the installation of your racking and it will pay you back in the long term.
If safety and reducing costs weren’t enough of an incentive, there is also a risk of you failing to meet industry regulations. Take a look at HSG76 Warehousing and Storage: A Guide to Health and Safety which advises warehouse owners on the correct steps towards improving warehouse safety. In the area of warehouse racking installations HSG76 recommends that “racking should only be installed by competent people according to manufacturer’s instruction”. To make sure your installer is ‘competent’, you need to make sure they have received relevant training.
How do I check my installer is qualified?
You should never assume that your supplier has a trained installer. There are very few installation courses out there and many installers still learn ‘on the job’. Over time it is very easy for an installer to pick up bad habits, or worse, they never learn the correct methods in the first place.
The first thing to do, is check if your installer has a SEIRS card. Run by SEMA, SEIRS is a national scheme which rigorously trains installers on correct installation methods per industry standards. Installers who have been through SEIRS can demonstrate that they have built up a solid foundation of industry-specific knowledge and practical skills needed for installing racking structures.
SEIRS is also recognised by the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS). An installer who holds a SEIRS CSCS has the correct skills and experience for installing racking on construction sites and will cover your requirements under CDM 2015.
How do I prepare for the warehouse racking installation?
Looking to install new warehouse racking? Work with Teepee and you know we will work to the highest quality and safety standards throughout the process.
To make sure we understand your needs properly we will first visit your site to analyse the layout, understand your needs and the issues you want to address. We will also look at technical aspects such as how to effectively utilise the available space, reduce product handling, and improve access and suitability of the space and floor for the racking. At this time, especially if we’re installing in a live environment, we will work with you to plan the best route to installation and minimise any disruption to operations.
Once you have approved the quote and design, the installation work will take place. Depending on the design and warehouse characteristics, the installation time will vary, However, we strive to get your business up and running as quickly as we can while working hard for the best results.
Ready to get started on your new warehouse racking installation?
Teepee offers a range of services related to warehouse solutions, from the design, supply and installation right through to inspections and after-care. Call us at 01384 256969 or fill in our contact form and we will happily answer any queries you have or provide a free quote for your racking.