How To Set Up A Warehouse

Setting up a warehouse can be a challenging task. Taking the right steps to setting up your warehouse will aim to provide a safe environment for your workforce, increase productivity and ensure your legal obligations.

Correct design and layout

Every project is unique which is why SEMA manufacturers have developed a comprehensive range of systems to meet the needs of your warehouse. Considerations for the design of your racking include:

1.What products are you storing?

The products stored in your warehouse will most likely come in all shapes, weights and sizes. Understanding what you are storing, how goods will be accessed and their throughput will determine the correct design and choice of racking system for your warehouse.

2. How are goods handled – mechanically, manually or a combination of both?

The design should consider requirements for any equipment used to transport or lift products. Aisle width and the right level of floor space should be adequate to allow easy passage of materials through the warehouse with minimal damage to racking.

3. What physical space is available (length, width and height)?

Every warehouse has limitations on the floor and vertical space available for your racking system. Optimising the available space will maximise productivity and provide a safe environment for your workforce.

sema training

Correct and safe installation

The erection of pallet racking is a skilled job and should only be carried out by experienced and knowledgeable SEMA Approved Installation Companies (SAIC). Racking systems should be assembled according to manufacturer’s specifications levelled to the appropriate SEMA/FEM design code. Loads notices should be supplied on completion of the racking installation by your supplier and fitted to the racking at regular intervals.

Remember – no alterations or adjustments should ever be made to your racking without first contacting your supplier.


Don’t forget! Your racking should be regularly inspected under current Health and Safety regulations to ensure it continues to be serviceable and safe. We recommend that the management team appoints a Person Responsible for Racking Safety (PRRS) who will take day-to-day responsibility for maintaining safe operation of your storage systems, undertaken regular rack inspections and maintain records.

SEMA’s Rack Safety Awareness course provides delegates with advice and guidance to enable them to carry out basic rack inspections in accordance with SEMA guidelines.

An expert inspection should be undertaken by a suitably qualified person. There two different types of inspection available. A “damage only” inspection provides a list of damaged items and their location. A SARI inspection offers far more useful detail and will check the rack configuration, type and manufacturer and a general identification of components. It will also check that the Load Notice specifically applies to the rack that it’s fixed to, often a problem if racking is moved or altered.
racking in warehouse