Our first question this month asks about Racking Inspection Records and our second enquires about Racking, Secured to a Wall.

Requirements for retention of Racking Inspection Records

Q. How long does a company need to keep its racking inspection records. Please will you advise what is either law and or best practice?

A. We are not aware of any statutory requirements specifically relating to the retention of racking inspection records. However, 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

PUWER Regulation 6 relates to inspection and 6(3) states “Every employer shall ensure that the result of an inspection made under this regulation is recorded and kept until the next inspection under this regulation is recorded.

SEMA and HSE guidance recommends that there should be a hierarchical rack inspection regime (refer to paragraphs 641 to 647 of the HSE publication “Warehousing and Storage – A guide to health and safety” HSG76.

Paragraph 646 of HSG76 states the following:

‘Expert’ inspections

646 A technically competent person should carry out inspections at intervals of not more than 12 months. A written report should be submitted to the PRRS with observations and proposals for any action necessary. So, this will lead to a minimum retention period.

If there is an accident then any records relating to the racking/equipment concerned would need to be kept until any proceedings relating to the accident are completed. Civil claims can be made for a number of years after the incident so, in the circumstances where there has been an incident, that would seem to represent a minimum period as well.

You might also like to check whether your insurers have any requirements on the subject.

Racking secured to wall

Q. Is it a requirement to ensure that racking that is being used in a workshop situation is secured to the wall to prevent topple?

A. Below is an extract from the SEMA Code of practice for the Use of Static pallet racking.

7.20 Ties to the building

Restraining ties to the building structure are not recommended. However, if ties are fitted, the User should confirm with the Supplier that the ties have been correctly designed and installed.

When such ties are required, checks should be made that the loads transmitted through the ties, are within the safe capacity of the building structure and the racking.

BSEN15629 Steel Static storage systems – Specification of storage equipment Includes the following clause;

7 Support by, or very close to, another structure

The specifier shall co-ordinate design activities to ensure that the clearances are such that either there is no transfer of force or the effects are taken into account in designing or checking both the storage equipment and the building structure.

So, other than the footplates, it is not recommended to fix racking or shelving to the building structure. If racking or shelving is connected to the building structure then the effect of any transfer of forces from the racking to the building, and vice versa, must be checked.

SEMA Annual Safety Conference 2022

The 2022 SEMA Safety Conference has been scheduled for Thursday, 3 November; the venue will be the National Motorcycle Museum, Solihull. Email: enquiry@sema.org.uk

SEMA Technical Enquiries

If you have a query send it to tq@sema.org.uk and we will do our best to have it answered by one of our technical experts.

SEMA Rack Safety Awareness and Inspection Courses

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.

SEMA Approved Rack Inspectors Qualification

Aimed at professionals who conduct rack surveys as part of their duties. It involves delegates undertaking an in-depth course, together with an examination and practical assessment.

SEMA Publications

SEMA has 26 publications in stock all of which are available from our Offices. Contact SEMA or visit www.sema.org.uk 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.


w: www.sema.org.uk


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