This month’s questions both involve shelving, the first concerns the use of Hit & Miss timber to act as shelving and the second asks what if any regulations should be considered when using Line side Shelving.

Hit and Miss Shelving

Q. Is it possible to make ‘Hit and Miss’ timber to act as shelving in racking or does this need to come directly from the supplier who installed the racking?

I work on an engineering site and the maintenance team insist they can make things which will comply with the same standard as our current hit and miss timber but I am not so sure.

A. Hit and miss shelving is generally provided by a racking manufacturer with a guaranteed strength in order to support your goods. To achieve this, stress graded timber is likely to have been used in order to achieve this specification.

In simple terms if you choose to buy some timber from your local merchant of the same nominal size you need to be able to guarantee that the frequency of knots which are weaknesses in the timber are of no greater size and no more frequent than has been provided previously. Quite frankly without buying graded timber this is impossible to guarantee.

The final issue of course is of course that if this timber fails during use you have no one to complain to but your timber supplier who will presumably say that you only ordered say 100 x 25 planks and it was your job to sort into usable and otherwise. Buying to a performance specification from a reputable supplier has a lot of ‘comfort’ built in and when you get into the detail of DIY you probably begin to realise why the price is not as low and you might at first expect.

Line side Shelving

Q. Is there an industry standard or any recognised regulation that governs the use of line side shelving (racking)? (Roller shelving, approx 1.5 metres high for line picking and assembly

Is the company expected to or required to conform to other internal / supplier standards regarding line side shelving (racking)?
In your opinion is specialist training or any special qualification required to build, modify or reconfigure line side shelving (racking)?

A. As far as we are aware there are no documents dedicated to the use of line side shelving. There are however a number of publications for racking and shelving which contain specific requirements which are applicable for line side racking including load sign requirements, inspection requirements etc.

These publications would include:-

HSE guidance. – Warehouse and storage. A guide to health and safety

SEMA guidance – SEMA User’s Code

BS EN guidance – BS EN 15635 Application and Maintenance of Storage Equipment

It is also important that the supplier’s reccomendations for the safe use, inspection and maintenance of the storage system are understood and strictly adhered to.

The line side racking should not be built, modified or reconfigured by anyone who does not understand the implications of the work being carried out.

It is recommended that the original supplier is contacted to either undertake any work required or to clearly define what work is allowed to be carried out in-house and what requires specialist training. This may include the provision of or advice regarding specialist training of in-house personnel to allow the work to be carried out by internal maintenance staff. Alternatively an independent storage equipment expert may be used to provide advice on the safe use, maintenance and inspection of the storage system.

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.


Tel: 0121 601 6350

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