In a year where the industry has been busier than ever, Matthew Grierson, president of SEMA, discusses how safety really does pay when it comes to your storage equipment.

Matt Grierson
President at SEMA

Did you know that implementing safety in your storage equipment is self-fulfilling? Ensuring you meet the highest standards for your racking not only protects your employees, improves performance and reduces costs but it also ensures your assets deliver the best Return on Investment.

Different factors contribute towards a safe environment and everyone has a contribution to make. In fact, each stage is so intrinsically linked you cannot deliver safely on one element without keeping it at the centre throughout every stage of your equipment’s lifecycle.

Design & Manufacture

From the start, storage equipment must be designed specifically for its chosen application and factor in appropriate controls. The design should address safety critical areas such as accessing stock, how to protect employees around the warehouse and ensuring the racking delivers on its intended role.

Standardising safe processes is achieved by our Manufacturing Members or SEMA Distributor Companies (SDC) working to either SEMA Design Codes or the European Code EN 15512. Both are industry acceptable standards, and they instruct on the structural analysis of racking, what types of loads must be considered, how to test components and what factors of safety are required when designing equipment.

Of course, getting the correct design goes hand in hand with choosing the right equipment that has been manufactured to the highest standards. This means working with manufacturers, like our SEMA Manufacturing Members, who can clearly demonstrate, through independent assessments, that their products meet industry requirements.


Everyone should be aware of the challenges when installing storage equipment. You should not underestimate the level of technical knowledge required for the task. If performed incorrectly, it can affect the structural integrity of the new equipment, reducing safety standards and potentially resulting in unnecessary and expensive remedial costs.

If you want the job done right, work with SDCs and SEMA Approved Installation Companies (SAIC) who are routinely audited to demonstrate their work is in accordance with the highest industry and safety standards. They are also committed to using SEIRS installers, a unique initiative from SEMA that trains on the safe and correct methods of installation.

Keep Checking

Safe practices never stop. Implementing a culture of safety and appointing a person who will have responsibility for implementing regular inspections is crucial. Training is key here and it will ensure awareness for your employees on how to work within the parameters of the equipment and understand loading requirements.

The process comes to a full circle with an annual ‘expert’ inspection by a SEMA Approved Rack Inspection (SARI). Their report provides you with clear guidance on the condition of your equipment and uses a traffic light system to indicate actions required and recommended timescales for corrective action.

What’s New for 2023

Next year SEMA will focus on the importance of trained labour at the point of installation. Making sure the job is done correctly each and every time.


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