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Feature in Material Handling Logistics - Rack Inspections: Green risk doesn’t mean ‘No Risk’

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21 June 2018

 

Rack Inspections: Green risk doesn’t mean ‘No Risk’

 

By Colin Hinton, SEMA Technical Committee

The Storage Equipment Manufacturers’ Association philosophy is that safe storage follows a structured approach; safe design to meet SEMA’s codes of practice, safe manufacture offering traceability of product, safe installation by SEIRS qualified labour and safe use including rack inspection and maintenance.

Racking collapse and subsequent potential prosecution may possibly be avoided if there is a strong safety culture and correct procedures for inspection and maintenance are in operation. It is the duty of an employer to manage risk and demonstrate a safe system of work.

Staff need to be ‘safety aware' so that damage is reported immediately. This is backed up by regular inspections (weekly) by a suitably qualified individual and an expert inspection (annually) by a competent inspector such as a SEMA Approved Racking Inspector (SARI).

Damage is classified in accordance with the SEMA classification system of Red, Amber and Green as follows:

Red Risk

A Red risk indicates that severe damage, greater than twice the SEMA limits, has been identified. Immediate offloading and isolation of the rack is required, until repairs are made using the necessary original equipment manufacturer’s components.

Amber risk

Amber risk is classified as those areas where the damage is sufficiently severe to warrant remedial work but not sufficiently severe to warrant the immediate offloading of the rack. Once the pallet positions in a specific area have been emptied, they should not be refilled until the repairs are carried out. If repairs are not carried out within four weeks an Amber risk item automatically becomes a Red risk item.

Green risk

An area where damage is present, but it is within the SEMA limits and should be recorded for further consideration at the next inspection. 

Green risk damage is often misunderstood and does not mean that there is no risk. Green Risk will reduce the safety factor of the racking but should not be the cause of an incident or collapse.

Safety factors

There may be times when the safety factor is greater than the SEMA Code requirements, which may be due to a number of factors including:

·                     Racking capacity greater than the design load

·                     Reduced pallet weights

·                     Material slightly thicker or stronger than the design values

However, there may, in extreme situations, be times when the safety factor is close to or less than the Code requirements, which may be due to many factors, including:

  • Material slightly thinner or lower strength than the design values
  • Slightly increased pallet weights (maybe the load is the maximum neglecting the pallet weight)
  • Slightly out of tolerance build (maybe relocated from original location)
  • Height to first beam increased by a small amount. (A large increase in height will cause a significant reduction)

All of these can reduce the safety factor.

Justification

There have been no known incidents due to the continued use of Green Risk damage and there are many years of experience to confirm that assurance, as well as the original theoretical basis.

The European Racking Industry carried out further research, testing and analysis before accepting the Green risk damage levels, which have now been part of the European Codes of Practice for the past nine years.

SEMA’s view

Green risk damage reduces the safety factor. Racking with Green Risk damage can continue to be used without any operational changes.

However, the damage should be monitored on an annual basis and awareness is required of other items, which may also reduce the safety factor.

The Green risk category can identify repetitive damage and allows for solutions to be implemented before the issue becomes more serious.

 

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