sema-logoThis month we bring you an enquiry and answer relating to the use of euro pallets on 1200 mm wide racking and end of pallet racking protection.

Use of Euro pallets on 1200 mm wide racking

Q. Could you please advise us if there are any restrictions and / or legal implications to putting Euro pallets onto 1200mm wide racking?

A. Assuming you are using standard 800mm x 1200mm euro pallets located with the 800 mm face to the aisle then placing them in this orientation should present no problem as the bottom boards of the pallet span between the support beams and 3 pallets per 2700mm pallet support beam is quite a common application. If the pallets are located such that the 1200 mm face is to the aisle then there is no bottom board spanning between the support beams and this is a problem.

The SEMA recommendations are that for a pallet supported in the 1200mm direction the pallet racking end frame should be 1100mm. This will allow a 50mm overhang of the pallet at front and back support beams which permits a reasonable amount of operator error in pallet placement, which will inevitably occur.

If you are using 1200mm frames to support 1200mm pallets then the operators will have to place the pallets flush with the front face of the rack to ensure that the pallet is located on the back beam. Pallets themselves have a manufacturing tolerance – so you could have a situation where an operator places a pallet that is say 12mm undersize such that it overhangs the front beam by 15mm due to placement inaccuracy. In such circumstances you could find the rear of the pallet only supported by 12mm on the rear beam which is not a lot if accidental impacts and movement are then considered.

If this is the case you would appear to have two options. The first would be to have the frame depth changed which would involve stripping down the racking and substituting replacement frame bracing to give you a 1100mm frame as recommended. The second option would be to provide two pallet support bars per pallet spanning between front and back beams located under the bottom boards of each pallet. This would in effect prevent the pallet from falling off the rear beam and would have the advantage that stripping down the racking would not be necessary. Most racking suppliers will provide pallet support beams as part of their standard range to allow varying sized pallets to be accommodated.

Impact protection for the end pallet racking

Q. We are trying to source a pyramid shaped end of pallet racking protector, the type to deflect a forklift away from the end of the rack. We have heard of something described as ‘toblerone shaped’, however this may be something completely different.

. We have heard one of our members’ products described as a ‘Toblerone design’ – obviously this is not the official name and most manufacturers have similar offerings on the market. We will send you further information on where to locate this type of product.

However we are not sure that anything that you place at the end of a run of racking will stop a fork truck with a careless driver. The truck may weigh several tonnes and be travelling at about 5mph so anything that stops this before it hits the rack will need to be massive!! Generally rack end protection is intended to absorb only minor bumps and accidental knocks rather than a full assault on the racking concerned.

Most rack manufacturers provide barriers on the end of runs of racking which often looks like the Armco style barriers that you see on Motorways and racetracks. Unfortunately the motorway barrier gets a lot of its strength due to the fact that it is tensioned over a long length and this is not feasible with barriers at the ends of rack so the strength tends to be significantly less.

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 2009 – a date for your diary

The next SEMA annual conference in the series “Safety in the Storage Industry” is scheduled for Thursday, 5 November 2009, the venue being the National Motorcycle Museum, Solihull.

sema   Tel: 0121 601 6350

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