July’s cantilever inspection course shows that SEMA has been taking steps to further clarify cantilever racking code changes and formalise their “Guide to Method Statements”.

SEMA-logoOnce again, SEMA has demonstrated their commitment to safety with a new examination for cantilever racking inspections. However, the course also gives us an insight into what they have planned for the future. The course was run by Steve Cowen and Nick Betteley from the SEMA technical committee who were at the SEMA seminar in June. During the seminar, Cowen and Betteley were keen to clarify the changes in code that SEMA has made with regards to cantilever racking loads and clearances. The examination that they ran on 1st July in the SEMA offices in West Bromwich was a clear indication that Cowen and Betteley still see cantilever racking safety as very important.

Only 11 SEMA certified inspectors were invited to take part in this course and the subsequent examination. This demonstrates SEMA’s commitment to the slow and methodical training of their inspectors and gives some indication of how long it will take to formalise their “Guide to Method Statements”. SEMA indicated at the June seminar that it might take a whole year to turn this guide into a formal code of practice but that, when they did, HSE would help to enforce it as law. Using one course to train a select group of 11 people is evidence that SEMA are serious about their dedication to a steady and deliberate process.

HSE are evidently supportive of this pace as they are currently cutting their total amount regulation and spending. As HSE downsize, they state that they are looking for “innovative approaches” in order to maintain safety standards. SEMA’s strict training methods are precisely the kind of innovation that British health and safety needs. In training 11 people, they can keep costs low. In being perfectionists, they can keep standards high.

Despite SEMA’s successes, HSE need to be careful of handing SEMA too much responsibility too soon. As things stand, SEMA are doing their best to clarify cantilever racking inspection procedure. The fact that HSE still recommend SEMA’s services shows that they are standing by SEMA’s training and examination process. Yet if HSE cut regulations or their budget too fast or too far, then SEMA may struggle. Matt Grierson is eager to make the UK a “zero-accident place to work”. This is a noble cause but, in order to do this, he needs HSE’s support. Now that the cantilever racking course has been run, SEMA are setting their sights on the future. It will be interesting to see what SEMA do over the coming months.

About the Author Justin O’Sullivan is the only SEMA Approved Inspector based within London. With over 25 years experience within the storage equipment industry, Justin provides pallet racking inspections and training for SME’s through the South East of England.

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