Two questions again this month, the first concerns the use of anti collapse netting in association with carton live storage. Our second involves guarantees and quality standards on importing seemingly cheap racking from overseas.

Anti collapse netting with carton live picking

Q. I am looking for some independent advice from SEMA regarding pallet racking. This is in conjunction with carton live storage within pallet racking and the use of anti – collapse netting in the pallet location above.

We have back to back frames 8.8m high with carton live picking at the bottom level.  Back up pallets are stored above the replenishment face and not above the picking face, even though the frames are installed to 8.8m in the picking aisle.

Are there any SEMA guidelines for this scenario?

A. First of all we do no believe that there are any guidelines for the scenario that you describe which we think comes down to a specific risk assessment of the operation. We assume that you are wondering about storage in the 8.8m above the picking face which is not unknown in the industry. However the risks would need to be considered and appropriate action taken.

SEMA are currently considering writing a code of practice on the use of anti – collapse wire mesh and netting which would cover some of the issues you raise, though not all of them. The risk is what will govern whether you want some netting to arrest a falling carton that perhaps falls off a pallet or whether it has to be strong enough to arrest a falling pallet.  All this will take into account such items as pallet quality and the dangers of fork lift trucks placing pallets in a picking aisle. In some circumstances neither of these would be a problem, in others both of them would, as in all probability could several other issues.

As stated at the beginning this has to be a case of specific analysis and if you feel that this is a little beyond you SEMA are aware of some consultants who operate in this field who might be able to help and would be prepared to provide some names and telephone number should you wish to go down this route.

Racking  from China will it comply with UK/EU Standards?

Q. We are currently in the process of speaking to a number of racking suppliers in Dubai. The majority of products appear to be manufactured in Asia.

There is one particular supplier that is offering extremely competitive rates for Chinese-manufactured product.

Naturally I am keen to place this supplier in the shortlist but I need to be confident of the standard of their products as I intend to gain UKWA accreditation and align myself with UK/European standards in terms of safety, quality etc.

Q. Is there anywhere I can check that this supplier has been approved by either SEMA or FEM? What advice could you offer in terms of ensuring that the product is of a safe standard?

A. By the sound of it you have the age old problem that if an offer looks to be too good to be true then this might indeed be the case!

We would confirm that SEMA members in the UK undertake as part of their membership of that organisation compliance with QAS 2000, the industry quality scheme. This involves submitting confidential technical files to an independent academic appointed by SEMA who will carry out an appraisal of the whole design process that goes into the generation of load tables for a particular product range.

Unfortunately this situation does not extend to non-SEMA members who may claim that their products comply with SEMA requirements or indeed the requirements of any other standard world wide. This claim is as substantial as the company concerned and while some might be very good there is always a suspicion that others might be less so. Certainly we have come across companies whose product is claimed to comply with every standard worldwide, a claim which is plainly verging on the ridiculous.

If you are not able to satisfy yourself that some reliable independent assessment has already taken place we would suggest that perhaps you need to appoint your own assessor and it needs to be a requirement of your procurement process that your supplier would need to satisfy this checking engineer concerning the carrying out of product tests and the development of those into load tables and a structure to either designed to the SEMA, CEN or to the FEM codes in a manner that is rigorous and follows good engineering practice

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.


Tel: 0121 601 6350

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