Rack Inspections…. COVID-19 and Brexit!

The world has become a different place since the start of the pandemic, and now that Brexit has kicked in; where does this leave YOU with your racking inspections?

We have seen so many social media posts and heard many questioning the need for SEMA racking inspections, each with different answers. So here at Teepee, we have done our research, and would like to openly answer the question “Do I need an annual SEMA racking inspection even though not much is happening in our warehouse?”

Firstly, we looked at SEMA (Storage Equipment Manufactures Association) guidelines in the ‘Code of Practice for The Use of Static Pallet Racking’; this clearly states in paragraph 7.1 that an annual inspection be carried out by a technically competent person as well as regular internal inspections by a trained PRRS – person responsible racking safety, so the answer is a yes then!

Then turning to HSE76 Warehousing and Storage – A Guide to Health & Safety 646. A technically competent person should carry out inspections at intervals of not more than 12 months, it goes on to state that the PRRS frequency of inspections depends on a variety of factors that are particular to the site. So again, it comes up with a yes!

More rules and regulations… so now PUWER (Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998) Section 6 specifies criteria where an inspection is required for example where the safety depends on installation conditions, at suitable intervals where equipment is exposed to conditions causing deterioration such as the use of a forklift truck. Ploughing through PUWER (on your behalf) we find a paragraph stating that the frequency of inspections should be determined via risk assessment, taking manufacture and trade association recommendations into account. Again, we have already covered this above so another yes to the question.

Now that Teepee have cleared this up, if throughout COVID and now post Brexit there are any pallet movements (even reduced movements) within your facility then an annual SEMA inspection still applies. Only IF (and that is a big if) your facility has been completely mothballed or there are zero pallet movements, your annual inspection may be deferred. In the event of this facility reopening, we would highly recommend you carry out an annual inspection prior.

At Teepee all our inspectors have vast experience within the industry with a knowledge to match and enforced by SEMA’s approved rack inspector’s qualification, guaranteeing a comprehensive and unbiased inspection of your storage equipment adhering to the latest SEMA and HSE compliance and legislations.

All inspection findings are recorded clearly in an easy-to-follow independent report detailing issues using your designated locations using SEMA traffic light classifications and tolerances, including recommendations and actions to prevent any recurrences.

For prices or further information on our annual inspections, call us on 01384 25996.



New Year’s Resolution

Firstly, all of us at Teepee wish everyone a very Merry Christmas to finish off this weird year and our best wishes for 2021 with the hope that you all stay safe and well.

About now many people are either breathing a big sigh of relief as their Christmas rush is now done or things are about to get very busy indeed and as the pressures increase so does the risk of warehouse incidents with the increase in pallet movements, deadlines to meet all with no extra time and a possible influx of seasonal staff.

Can we please ask you to just take a second with the thought – ‘are standards being maintained in the warehouse?’

Did you answer yes? Or was it a no? Ok, when was your last pallet racking inspection? As your pallet movements increase so does risk of racking damage and possibly an incident.

As Big Ben rings out its midnight chimes, resolutions are made, some are even broken before the bell is silenced, why not start the new year with a new outlook and a call to Teepee. Ask for Rebecca who can help arrange your racking inspection, alternatively, why not ask about our racking inspection training so you can conduct your own internal inspections but more importantly have trained and knowledgeable persons on-site if an incident should occur.

Our very own experienced SEMA rack inspectors offer unbiased advice and guidance along with an easy-to-read rack inspection report fully compliant with SEMA and the HSE. The very same rack inspectors conduct our rack safety training courses so that you get the best and most up to date information as well of continuity between your inhouse and annual inspection.

New Year, New start, Teepee Inspect



Why Teepee for SEMA Approved Pallet Racking Inspections

Daily operations involving MHE, moving products and time constraints can result in general knocks and bumps to your racking. This can have varying degrees of consequences from reducing load carrying capacity without knowing, to the worst case, a full rack collapse.

What is SEMA?

SEMA (Storage Equipment Manufacturers Association) are the leading organisation in the storage industry and working alongside the HSE, they have very clear guidelines regarding the design and use of storage equipment. One such guideline states ‘At least a minimum annual racking inspection by a ‘technically competent person’ in addition to having a nominated person responsible for racking safety at your facility.’

SEMA approved rack inspectors (SARI’s) are recognised as ‘technically competent persons’ not only within the industry but within HSE. SEMA has a strict criterion for inspector applicants followed by a continued development plan which includes up to date information from manufacturers. A Teepee SEMA storage equipment inspection report is one you can trust for an honest, independent insight into the condition of your storage equipment.

Our racking inspection reports

This is why at Teepee we are here for you, our very own SEMA approved inspectors carry out annual or more frequent inspections across the UK to the latest industry and Health & Safety standards on pallet racking, cantilever racking, shelving and even mezzanine floors all of which fall under storage equipment legislation. Our SEMA and HSE compliant electronic report details damage in line with the SEMA ‘red, amber and green’ classifications, condition of equipment, operational issues along with general housekeeping and furthermore offers recommendations and advice for any improvements or remedial works.

Teepee’s additional services

However, we at Teepee go further as we offer a wide range of services that you can trust, for example as well as the SEMA inspections we provide an on-site ‘racking safety awareness & inspection training course’ for your nominated person responsible for racking safety. The course is designed and delivered so that it provokes awareness and understanding of your storage structures which will keep your personnel safe and fully compliant with safety regulations. Once the course is successfully completed regular in-house pallet racking inspections can be carried out safely by your own staff, this does not replace the annual SEMA racking inspection but increases safety across the site and more importantly should an incident occur you have someone knowledgeable and trained on-site to react, potentially eliminating serious consequences and saving costs.

For your SEMA approved inspections or training, just give us a call on 01384 256969.



Nuts, bolts and racking safety

As part of our extensive range of warehouse services, racking inspections are an integral part of supporting our clients in the maintenance of productive and safe working environments.

We sometimes encounter situations where clients have introduced alternative solutions in the belief that they will achieve the same results when it comes to protecting their racking. The use of nuts and bolts instead of locking pins is quite a common scenario and on the face of it, would appear to do the same job. However, this significantly underestimates the way in which a locking pin is designed to work and its role in minimising damage to an upright. For instance, if struck by a forklift, a locking pin will allow the beam to dislodge from an upright thus preventing significant damage and reducing the potential to trigger a collapse across a whole bay. A nut and bolt connection will prevent this movement and can place an entire warehouse at risk should the failure become progressive.

Whilst this is true in most cases, there are some exceptions to the rule. For example, the risk of not bolting the front beam of a live storage system is deemed by many to be greater than that of bolting, given that the force that stops pallets from running down the inclined rollers is substantial. The easiest and safest way to establish best practice for your company’s racking system is to engage a SEMA accredited inspector.

If you’re looking to arrange your annual storage inspection or would like advice on safety protocols for your business, then contact our friendly, SEMA accredited professional team to discuss your requirements on 01384 256969 or email sales@teepee.co.uk



Seamless flow in the warehouse is the key to e-tail efficiency

As the fastest growing retail market in Europe, e-commerce looks set to form the mainstay of how we shop for products. It’s, therefore, no surprise that e-tailers find themselves under increasing pressure to provide faster, slicker solutions that cost less to service than their competitors.

This often corresponds directly to the efficiency of the order fulfilment process of the warehouse. Here, any weakness in the chain will ultimately translate as loss of profit. So, what can be done to ensure that an e-tail business maintains its competitive edge? Well, risk of disruption to order fulfilment can be greatly reduced by sourcing all Materials Handling Equipment (MHE) from a single supplier. This means that everything from bins, to shelves to racking and live storage is compatible, making the fulfilment operation seamless and free flowing. For example, bins that have been supplied by the same supplier as racking will not only move smoothly but will also have been designed to optimise space on the racking system.

An experienced Materials Handling provider will be adept at integrating all fulfilment components with the objective of increasing efficiency in a safe and productive manner. Here at Teepee, we not only design and fit storage solutions but also provide full warehouse fit-out services including mezzanine floors, industrial and office partitioning and safety barriers.  Our one-stop-shop package is designed to take the hassle out of expansion or refurbishment, giving our clients time to concentrate on business growth whilst we take care of the practicalities.

Looking to maximise warehouse efficiency? Contact our friendly, SEMA accredited professional team to discuss your requirements on 01384 256969 or email sales@teepee.co.uk



The Importance of SEMA

If your company uses storage systems than the chances are, you will have heard of SEMA. You may be aware that using a company with a Storage Equipment Manufacturers Association accreditation is a good thing, but you may not be 100% sure as to why!
This blog is your potted guide to the organisation and why it is so important to the storage system industry.

SEMA stands for the Storage Equipment Manufacturers Association and is primarily committed to promoting and extending the safe design, installation and use of storage equipment manufactured and supplied to its members. The Association recently celebrated its 50th birthday and works closely with leading safety bodies such as the HSE, CSCS and RoSPA.

Companies that manufacture storage equipment in the UK can apply for full membership, whereas companies such as Teepee Materials Handling, who supply and install SEMA accredited storage systems, can apply for SEMA Distributor status. In order to qualify, this means that we are independently audited on 25 key quality measures including the use of trained labour and correct storage design.

SEMA storage system promotes a three-stage process to maximise safety; design, installation and maintenance. Once your new storage system has been designed and professionally installed, regular maintenance is not only essential from a safety perspective, but also a legal requirement. SEMA Approved Rack Inspectors (SARIs) are specifically trained to SEMA standards and must undertake on-going CPD to ensure that their skills remain current and aligned with industry developments.

Teepee is proud to include a team of in-house SARIs that carry-out mandatory annual inspections for clients, providing invaluable advice for maintenance and repair. Teepee can also organise racking repair work removing hassle and delay for business owners.

In a nutshell, SEMA accredited suppliers provide a guaranteed benchmark for safety, high quality and experience. Look for SEMA accreditation whenever selecting a storage system service.

If you are considering a new system or need to arrange your annual inspection, contact our friendly, SEMA accredited professional team for a quotation on 01384 256969 or email sales@teepee.co.uk



Qualification Queries

As storage industry experts, we’re often asked questions about the safe installation of racking systems. Recently, we were asked if competent staff were capable of installing a pallet racking system or if the job had to be carried out by a qualified team.

The answer isn’t straightforward as although SEMA guidelines state that a competent person must install a racking system this is not a legal requirement, and it is down to the employer to assess the competency of their employees prior to carrying out any work.

All qualified racking installers have undertaken an industry qualified training course known as SEIRS. This training course provides the individual with the skills to install racking safety in conjunction with manufacturers assembly guidelines. The owner of the premises must assess whether his staff have the skills to carry out the task without presenting significant risk of injury to themselves or other people.

Should you decide to undertake this work, we would recommend you employ a SEMA racking inspector to assess the racking before loading, as this would eliminate any construction issues which may arise from a lack of experience.

In our view, it is far safer to employ an experienced, SEMA accredited installation team to remove risk and worry from this process. This also saves money in the long run as correctly installed systems are less likely to fail and need repair.

Considering a new racking system or looking to re-site your existing system?
Contact our friendly, SEMA accredited professional team for a quotation on 01384 256969 or email sales@teepee.co.uk



Safeguarding your storage system

Whether you’re moving into new premises, have a new storage requirement or it’s simply time to upgrade your existing storage facility, selecting a new system can be a mind boggling task. Fortunately, as a SEMA approved supplier, Teepee are on hand to help recommend a solution that offers the best efficiency and safety for your business’ needs.

There are three main criteria to consider when choosing. First and foremost, we must ensure a safe working environment so our proposals must take into account HSE regulations. Secondly, we must make sure that the solution presents good accessibility to assets and finally, the solution must minimise the risk of damage to stored goods.

When specifying a storage product, we follow SEMA’s simple principles which includes:

  • Safe manufacture offering full traceability of product
  • Safe design to meet strict codes of practice
  • Safe installation by accredited personnel
  • Ongoing rack maintenance through inspection and repair

In this way, we guarantee a product and installation process that clients can rely on to uphold the highest levels of safety standards.

Considering a new storage system? Contact our friendly, professional team for a quotation on 01384 256969 or email sales@teepee.co.uk



Staying safe on your mezzanine floor

Without doubt, mezzanine floors can be one of the most useful ways to increase useable floor space within your company. In terms of cost and speed, they can be an excellent alternative to relocation and here at Teepee, we regularly include them in our client proposals.

However, as most mezzanines are usually exposed and elevated, it’s important to maintain strict safety working practices when incorporating them into your business.

Here are our top five tips to staying safe on your mezzanine floor:

  • Keep your mezzanine area tidy and well-lit to minimise the risk of trips and falls.
  • Ensure suitable twin railed handrailing (1100mm high) is fitted to all exposed edges of the mezzanine being suitably designed to within stand imposed loads from personnel working on top of the mezzanine.
  • Install protective kicker boards (minimum of 100mm high) to all exposed edges to prevent small loose items falling onto operatives working below.
  • Ask Teepee for advice on fitting specialist Mezzanine Safety Gates to significantly reduce the risk of injury and costly fines.
  • A safety load notice is displayed and your team know and observe the safe weight bearing capacity of your mezzanine floor so that it is never put under excess stress.

As with all aspects of your business, rigorous and regular safety inspections should be at the heart of your operation. Our advice is to make sure that your mezzanine area forms part of your weekly safety check and that concerns are identified and rectified swiftly.

Transform your usable working space. For a free mezzanine quotation, contact our friendly, professional team on 01384 256969 or email sales@teepee.co.uk



Red. Amber. Green

As many of you already know it is a legal requirement to have an annual ‘Expert Inspection’ of your storage equipment such as racking, shelving, mezzanine floors and cantilever racking by an independent qualified inspector known as a ‘SARI’.

The ‘Storage Equipment Manufacturers Association’ (SEMA) and ‘Health Safety Executive’ (HSE) recommend a three pronged approach to maintaining best practice in racking safety. This involves operators reporting damage as they find it, with the business being responsible for carrying out regular monthly inspections by a trained supervisor known as a ‘Person Responsible Storage Equipment Safety’ (PRSES).

To promote awareness of storage equipment safety, SEMA hold a popular fortnightly training course to provide individuals with the skills to assess and document the condition of storage equipment on a monthly basis. To identify damage, SEMA introduced a traffic light system to the course to help delegates categorise damage in order of severity. It’s a great initiative and one we believe can be successfully applied in a live environment. Here are the key points:

RED – Damage is twice SEMA tolerances, requires immediate offloading  and isolation. Repairs must be made using genuine components in line with SEMA’s Code of Practice.

AMBER– Damage greater than SEMA tolerances, loads should not be replaced once unloaded. Repairs must be made using genuine components in line with SEMA’s Code of Practice.  Should repairs have not been carried out within 4 – weeks of notification of damage, this will become a red risk and require immediate offloading and isolation.

GREEN– Falls within SEMA tolerances and should be documented for consideration during your next inspection.

By introducing a damage classification system to your routine monthly inspections, not only do you help ensure the safety of your team, you reduce long term maintenance costs and promote safety within the working environment.

Time for your annual inspection? Call us to arrange with a SEMA accredited inspector on 01384 256969