Storage Safety really does pay!

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

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 centre at 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.

Our Manufacturing Members or SEMA Distributor Companies (SDC) achieve a standardised safe process by working to either SEMA Design Codes or the European Code EN 15512. These are industry acceptable standards that instruct on the structural analysis of racking. They recommend the load types for the structure, how to test components and the safety factors needed when designing equipment.

Of course, getting the correct design goes hand in hand with choosing the right equipment 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.

storage safety
Image courtesy of SSI Schaefer


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. This can reduce safety standards and potentially result in unnecessary and expensive remedial costs.

If you want the job done right, work with SDCs and SEMA Approved Installation Companies (SAIC). To demonstrate their work is in accordance with the highest industry and safety standards both group routinely submit themselves to independent audits. They also commit to using SEIRS installers, an initiative from SEMA that trains on safe and correct installation methods.

storage safety
Image courtesy of Storage Systems

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. Employees will be aware of 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. It uses a traffic light system to indicate actions required and recommended timescales for corrective action.