RISC has been inspecting storage equipment for over 25 years and has gone from strength to strength, an established and trusted name within companies of all sizes and well-known names across the UK and Ireland. We asked and more importantly we listened to our clients telling us what they want from an Inspection Report, we responded with our industry breaking FULLY detailed and immediate electronic Inspection Report, featuring colour photographs. This is electronically sent upon the completion of the inspection meaning that not only the detailed findings can be discussed with our SEMA Inspector before they leave site but there is no period of ambiguity, reaction is immediate, whilst others take days for their report to finally reach the customer.

But we haven’t stopped there; recently we have launched our online reminder and ‘1Click’ inspection booking system, so our clients don’t have to remember due dates along with everything else in their busy lives. Ian Sandall, RISC Inspections Manger spoke to Warehouse & Logistics News.

First of all, what does your role involve day to day?

As Inspections Manager I am fortunate to be able to hold both a strategic and practical role. Continuing to carry out inspections and leading Rack Awareness Training allows me to understand customers’ needs and the developing changes in warehouse safety which we as a team use in building relationships with customers and developing compliance solutions.

I enjoy every aspect of my day, even when there is the occasional hiccup, as the buck stops with me, but it’s all part of the job I love and am so passionate about. We have a great team here, I’m proud to say that we are equally involved and committed to evolving RISC as a company and a trusted recognised brand.

Who else is in RISC and how do they factor?

We have a growing team of SEMA Approved Inspectors out and about supported behind the scenes by rack safety awareness trained Information & Support Administrators keeping our clients up to date making sure that all of their requests are fulfilled and their compliance maintained.

As a sister company of Teccon we share a comprehensive Technical Department with in-depth racking knowledge and an extensive library of racking solutions, instantly accessible by our inspectors even when they are onsite.

Have you launched any new products and services in the past year? What does this represent to the industry?

Over the past few years, we can boldly claim that RISC is probably the fastest growing in the market. The reason is that is we do as we say “Keep It Simple”. One of the things that we have changed is the way we communicate, two years ago we reviewed our full written reports and as a result we threw away the waffle, the reams of pages of repetitive information rewriting our report to be clear and precise. It’s now easy to read and follow giving concise information on issues and most importantly, what are the key observations and recommendations. As an example we’ve had experiences where our 17 page report sits next to a bloated 41 page report from a key player in the inspection industry. We’ve developed a unique format, showing Red, Amber and Green reports in context to their location. Needless to say we now have a very happy customer.

But we didn’t stop there, we’ve invested heavily in our tablet based inspection app, giving our clients so many advantages such as an industry first FULL written digital report including colour photographs, issues and ‘what to do next’ sent directly to their email meaning the report can be discussed with the inspector whilst still on site and immediate/interim action can be taken. No more having to wait for a full report to be sent in a few days leaving the customer in period of liability and danger.

The Inspection App caters for Pallet Racking, Cantilever Racking and Shelving. It records previous reports so that historical damage is quickly identified, patterns of repeat damage spotted even identifying if the necessary repairs or issue correction have been dealt with.

We didn’t want to stop there. Three months ago we launched our unique, another industry first, ‘1Click’ online reminder and booking system. Gone are the days that you have to remember the due date of your inspection. RISC clients receive a personalised email reminding them of the due date and cost of the annual inspection. The customer response is simple, a single click to confirm and optionally add a preferred date to suit their schedule, simple as that.

We’ll continue to evaluate, adapt and set the pace of the industry to give our customers the best service as we can, yet remain value for money. Our investment and foresight in storage equipment inspections is changing the way we work.

Too many people in this industry are complacent about safety. What are you doing to clear ‘The Fog’ and make people aware of the need to think about what safety standards they are accepting in their businesses?

In general I wouldn’t agree with that, to their credit, in my experience safety is a large part of our clients business taking up large amounts of time and effort.

When first starting in the industry nearly 30 years ago the health and safety advice was ‘don’t hurt yourself’, no matter what corners were cut or the way some decided to perform a task. Now I see the culture of companies and individuals conscious of not only their own but others safety. How this industry has grown is very much an indication of how much more responsible companies are these days.

RISC, as a company has a duty of care to all our customers to provide them with the most up to date, honest, advice and information. That is exactly what we do from SEMA guidelines to HSE compliance, at every stage from selecting the right equipment to maintaining that system. Our customers call us because they know they can ask any question (there’s no such thing as a silly one) and get an unbiased, honest and simple response.

With many businesses stockpiling in recent weeks in advance of Brexit, some are storing pallets in racking to higher stock levels than normal. What is your advice on safe usage of racking and shelving?

The answer to this has a couple of important points, firstly racking is designed for that customer’s particular application so due care needs to be taken that all original design parameters are still being adhered to i.e. Pallet dimensions and weights, there should be fitted a Load Notice that is an easy reference for loading information for that particular pallet rack/mezzanine/cantilever rack. If no Load Notice is present then I would immediately make a call so this vital information can be ascertained and displayed.

Once the basics are fully understood and clarified then ask the all-important question, is the equipment in good sound original manufacture condition? I am constantly surprised when I see damage to the point that I think how is this still standing! We’ve all seen the YouTube videos of warehouse racking tumbling because of a seemingly innocent nudge by a forklift or in some cases “it just falls”, there has to be a reason and that reason is generally because of a lack of maintenance. SEMA and H&S under various regulations state that storage equipment falls under working equipment and as such ‘at least an annual inspection is required by a technically competent person’ and for the sake of the cost of a cup of coffee a day could save lives, save thousands of pounds and your reputation or in the worst case your freedom, so get inspected.

Why should customers come to you as the first choice supplier in your specialist area?

All of us at RISC hold the same ideals, we build strong relationships with our customers, and this is based solely on trust. When asking one of our inspectors the same question ‘We deliver exactly what we promise, and promise exactly what we deliver’ was the answer. We thought this summed it up perfectly so have adopted this as our philosophy along with ‘Keep It Simple’.

I’m proud of the fact that we’ve developed to become the first choice supplier for national multi-site customers (one of which has 400 locations) and that our reach has grown from Mainland UK to cover the entirety of Ireland and the Channel Islands as well.

What is your company’s involvement in the 2019 SEMA Safety Conference – what are you doing on the day?

On the day our inspection team will be in attendance along with myself listening to the speakers, noting all the good that we can and chatting to friends that have also turn out. Looking forward to a good day.

How does your involvement in SEMA help you as a company? How does it benefit your customers knowing you are SEMA members?

SEMA is a massive part of our success, our inspectors have all passed the SARI (SEMA Approved Racking Inspectors) course and several of our inspectors have Cantilever Inspection qualification too which not only improves our knowledge but also proves the vital ‘technically competent’ qualification that HSE require.

What guidance do you most frequently give your customers on how to assess risks and improve storage safety?

A large part of what we do at RISC is customer guidance. Once the inspection has been carried out we could easily walk away, but we don’t. From the inspection findings we sit with the customer and analyse the results giving advice on the how and why issues occur, the action that is need to rectify and more importantly the action needed to stop it reoccurring.

We see our duty as a partner to work with clients to prevent the horror stories that soon get splashed on social media and as such most of our partners see a vast cost saving in future repair costs because we take the time to explain.

Which warehouse safety standards do you comply with?

We comply with SEMA as all of our inspectors are SARI’s. (Can I add a ‘Good Luck’ to Anthony in his upcoming SARI exams) We are also compliant with HSE and SEMA requirements, for example those detailed in HSE’s HSG76 and SEMA “Guide to conduct of Pallet Racking & Shelving Inspections – December 2017”.

What is your advice about inspecting racking for damage?

There are two answers to this, I could quote ‘Health & Safety at Work Act 1974” or “The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998” or even “The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992” and even SEMA’s own guidelines as to at least an annual inspection, but it’s a bit more lucid than that. What I advise is yes minimum is a round about legal requirement but in reality there are factors that you really need to consider, for example the number of pallet movements, seasonal peaks and even the last inspection. As an example take seasonal peak, this is a period of increased pallet movement with more time constraints on operators and an influx of temporary staff. Under these conditions it may be that incidents increase but the time allowable for in house inspections decreases. Would you be happy to wait for an annual inspection that may not be due for a further 6 months? This is when inspections should be stepped up in frequency.

What safety training do you offer your customers? Do you offer on-site training at customers’ premises?

One of our fastest growing elements is RISC’s Racking Awareness Course, this is a one-day course that can be carried out at our training center or at any location required. The course is specially designed for personnel to carry out a planned regular In House racking inspection, however this does not replace the ‘Competent Person’ inspection required by HSE. Our RSA course not only covers SEMA guidelines but also the legal aspects, how racking is designed, component performance and the recording of the information.

The success of this course speaks for its self as one client emailed “After the training you supplied our guys inspect the racking on a weekly basis and report any faults. This week we have had half our racking thoroughly examined. We only had 2 minor issues identified, a missing locking pin and a missing load notice, this is a massive improvement.” Check our web site to find out who it was!

Where do you see RISC going from here?

RISC will continue to do what RISC does best, a value for money, honest service.

Not resting on what we’ve already built, we’ll continue to advance using technology and the focus of the RISC team.

Regarding the team, I have to at this point praise their hard work and devotion. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my MD whom his faith and support has enabled RISC’s rapid growth.


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