sema-logo.jpgLoading of racking
Q. Could you give me some advice on the loading of racking? Am I correct in saying that the design of the racking is to fit with the design of pallets, to enable the pallet blocks to take the weight against the racking beams and not the pallet struts taking the weight on the racking beams..
A. Yes, you are correct that the pallet blocks should be supported on the beams of pallet racking and it is not acceptable to have the load supported by the bottom boards of the pallet acting in bending.

Appendix II of the SEMA Code of Practice for the Use of Static Pallet Racking gives some industry guidance on recommended frame dimensions required for particular pallet sizes.

For instance with a four way entry 1200 x 1000 pallet being stored with its 1200 side facing the aisle and the 1000 face spanning the beams of the racking this would require a 900 end frame to support it. This would in effect mean that it was designed to have 50mm overhang over the front and back beams in its optimum position and ensure that all corner blocks were supported adequately. If the pallet is accidentally placed such that the front face of the pallet is flush with the front beam (which is probably the worst positioning that can normally be achieved) then this will mean that there is a 100mm overhang at the rear though the corner block with most reputable pallets will be large enough that this is still be supported on the racking beam.

We hope that this advice is of help and if you need further information we would commend the SEMA Code of Practice on the Use of Pallet Racking as a very useful document.

Qualifications that might enhance a business’s profile
Q. We are an established racking business. It would greatly assist us if you could inform us of any qualifications or certificates which are generally recognised and which would further enhance the business’s profile and reputation.
The business deals mainly with installation or repair of existing systems, however there has been recent enquires regarding inspections.
A. Installers of racking systems might be expected to be SEIRS qualified (Storage Equipment Installers Registration Scheme). This is a SEMA safety initiative that requires installers to attend a one day training course once every three years to keep up to date with new legislation and safety requirements. The intention is to have a scheme rather like the Corgi scheme for gas fitters where the installer can demonstrate his level of achievement to a customer. Large corporate clients often make this qualification compulsory for companies who work for them. Similarly large construction sites require this qualification in addition to a CSCS card. Although smaller clients are not so rigorous in demanding the SEIRS qualification many have realised the benefits of using personnel who have reached a specified level of competence.

If you are undertaking racking inspections we would suggest that your inspector should at least come on the SEMA Rack Awareness Course. This is a one day course and will cost roughly the same as the installers’ courses.

Finally if your inspector is doing very regular inspections you might like to have the personnel involved attend a SEMA 4 day rack inspector’s course. This has formal examinations (both written and practical) at the end of the course and successful candidates may call themselves SEMA Approved Racking Inspectors. This course is intended for the professional inspectors who wish to demonstrate the level of their ability.

SEMA Technical Enquiries
We hope you find the above articles, and those in previous editions, interesting. If you have a query send it to us by fax or email and we will do our best to have it answered by one of our technical experts.

SEMA Rack Safety Awareness and Inspection Courses
SEMA runs a one-day safety course on Rack Safety Awareness and Inspection. These courses are aimed at end users, giving an in-depth look at the need for inspections, how to conduct an assessment and what actions to take when this is completed. These courses are normally held at the SEMA headquarters but arrangements can be made to hold them at the delegates’ premises.

SEMA Approved Rack Inspectors Qualification
This qualification is aimed at professionals who conduct rack surveys as an integral and significant part of their duties. It involves delegates in undertaking an in-depth SEMA Course, together with an examination and practical assessment. CPD will be an important part of the qualification, demonstrating to end users that SEMA Approved Inspectors maintain a high professional standard.

SEMA Publications
SEMA publishes a number of documents including Codes of Practice, ‘Guides’ and European documents – all of which are available from our Office. For further information on these documents contact SEMA or visit our website, and click on ‘Codes of Practice’.

SEMA runs a USERS Club designed to be of benefit to purchasers and users of storage equipment. Members receive newsletters, access to specialised events and discounted rates on publications and codes of practice. For further information contact SEMA.
SEMA Annual Safety Conference 2008 – a date for your diary

The 2008 SEMA Safety Conference, “Safety in the Storage Industry: Understand Your Duties” is scheduled for Thursday, 6 November 2008, the venue being the National Motorcycle Museum, Solihull.

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