Our first question this month asks for confirmation on Supplier Documentation and the second asks about Pallet Racking Colours.
Q. I am looking for confirmation please on what documents I need from a supplier and installer of new racking, I am waiting for a report but have been led to believe that, that is no longer the case?
A. The answer to this question depends to a large extent on the contract that you agreed with your supplier.
Your supplier will normally provide a load notice, instructions on correct use of the racking and a handover notification.
Racking and shelving are considered to be work equipment and, therefore, are covered by the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) which requires, amongst other things;
•That the equipment should be inspected and maintained in good working condition,
•That people operating work equipment are given adequate training in the correct use of the equipment,
•That employees are given necessary health and safety information.
The load notice does not just give information about the Safe Working Load (SWL) of the racking, there are also important instructions and information about the general usage of the racking e.g. prohibitions about altering or climbing the racking as well as an instruction to report damage and signposts to information sources.
Paragraph 634 of the HSE publication “Warehousing and storage – A guide to health and safety” HSG76 states that “Racking should have a clear unambiguous notice securely fixed to it, stating the maximum load together with any necessary specified load configurations”, and goes on to make reference to the SEMA publication on Load Notices.
So, whilst there is no specific legislation requiring a load notice to be placed on racking, there is a recommendation from HSE to do so and an obligation on an employer to ensure that employees have the information necessary to operate the racking system safely. The SEMA load notice is the easiest way of complying.
If the racking/shelving does not have a load notice, then employers will need to find an alternative means of transmitting the information given on the load notice to their employees.
The Load notice refers to the SEMA Code of practice for the use of static pallet racking. This publication gives a lot of useful information on the correct use of racking and is available free to end users via the SEMA website.
There is no ‘SEMA standard’ handover document and each company is free to adopt whatever their individual procedures might require. Even within a single company there might be a number of different handover documents depending upon the particular requirements of an individual contract.
It might be anticipated that a company would include things such as the project reference, project name, customer order number, description of equipment supplied, whether or not the project was completed on time, whether or not the customer is satisfied with the works and date of handover. There might also be items such as references to applicable codes and specifications, reference to the contract, reference to any project milestones etc.. However, this is an individual company decision.
Pallet Racking Colours
Q. I am looking for some advice in regards to colour of pallet racking. Is it possible to have black / dark grey uprights and cross beams or is a more visible colour on the cross beam for visibility of the warehouse operatives?
A. SEMA is not aware of any legislation specifying colours for racking.
However, clause 9 of EN15629 Steel static storage systems – Specification of storage equipment deals with “Safety Colours” and states that “In some countries there may be local regulations fixing safety or warning colours that shall be used for safety reasons, e.g. for upright protection”. A note to clause 9 states “NOTE Consideration should be given to the colour of pallet racking beams. A bright clear colour that makes the beam easily visible will enable a truck driver to see the beams at high levels.”
As a result, pallet racking beams are traditionally provided in reasonably bright colours e.g. Orange, Red, Blue.
General Health and Safety legislation does however, give minimum recommended lighting levels in the HSE publication HSG38, and BS12464-1 Lighting of work places – Indoor work gives more information.
The chartered Institute of building services (CIBSE) recommends the following lux levels for distributions centres;
•Main forklift truck aisles 100
•Pedestrian aisles 200
•Packing and despatch 300
•Loading bay 500
Most racking suppliers will be able to provide racking components painted in the colour of your choice however, this may attract to an increased price and lead-time.
So, whilst it is possible to have black/grey beams and uprights this is generally not recommended as it makes the racking less visible which could lead to more impact damage along with the attendant risks.
Furthermore, special paint colours might lead to increased cost and delay in supply.