The first question we have for this month asks are insurance inspectors qualified and our second asks about the height of uprights.

Are Insurance Inspectors qualified?

Q. We have periodic inspections carried out by our insurance company on our racking. Does their inspector need to have a SEMA qualification to carry out these inspections? If not, what is ‘good practise’ with regards to qualifications?

A. There is no ‘legal’ requirement for your inspector to have a SEMA qualification or any other qualification for that matter. What is important is that the inspector needs to be ‘technically competent’ – which is often a very difficult thing to define. The SEMA qualifications are one way that an inspector can demonstrate the relevant technical competence to an end-user that maybe knows very little about the inspector’s background, experience and training; that is one reason why the SARI scheme was developed in the first place.

In this particular case it may well be your insurers who are certifying this particular person as ‘competent’ however, whilst such people are often very knowledgeable over a very wide field they sometimes lack the specialist knowledge required in certain areas and warehouse racking might be one of those. This is perhaps not surprising as an insurance inspector might be expected to advise on anything from electrical safety on production lines to manual handling, workplace transport and warehouse racking and it is unlikely that he/she will be expert in all of these.

You might wish to discuss the qualifications and training of the particular Inspector that looks at your warehouse with your Insurer and if you are not satisfied might wish to engage a SEMA Approved rack Inspector (SARI) to look at your warehouse racking independently. This sort of hybrid arrangement occurs quite often with the Insurance Assessor then checking that the Rack Inspections have been done regularly and any repairs carried out in good order rather than carrying out the rack inspections.

Obviously, the size of the installation is relevant in this regard as a very small installation might not warrant several people being involved with the inspection, though in a large warehouse this would make a lot of sense.

Height of Uprights Above the Top Rail of a Rack?

Q. Can you tell me what the recommended height of uprights is above the top rail of racking?

A. The only requirement that we know of is in Germany and France where the end frame in a run needs to be either 1000mm or 500mm above the top beam level to inhibit goods falling into the gangway. Apart from this we do not know of any recommended minimum height above the top beam.

SEMA Annual Conference 2022 – a date for your diary

The 2022 SEMA Annual Conference has been scheduled for Thursday, 3 November; the venue will be the National Motorcycle Museum, Solihull.

For full details and a booking form contact SEMA at

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 email to and we will do our best to have it answered by one of our technical experts.

SEMA Rack Safety Awareness 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 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 has 26 publications in stock – Codes of Practice, ‘Guides’ and European documents – all of which are available from our Offices. For further information on these documents contact SEMA or visit our website,


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.




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