Common FAQs - When Does Shelving Become Racking?

Shelving and racking archive storage

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15 April 2020


Q. We have several shelving/racking units (nothing on the scale of large warehouse racking systems) located in offices for archive and a small storage unit within our Estate. My knowledge on whether they require a formal yearly inspection and/or frequent period checks by a competent person is lacking and would like to ask for your assistance.

A. To your specific point, it boils down to your risk assessment as to what needs inspecting. You can have office shelving which can be classed as furniture and as long as you don’t have people pulling such items as loaded hand pallet trucks into the offices and the potential of impact and collapse can be treated in the same way as you would normal office furniture.

However, archive stores where the possibility of moving trolleys being used is much greater and the weights being stored could possibly also be much greater. A tidy up in such areas from time to time would be useful as the main issue is I doubt if you know what weight you are imposing on the shelving and also suspect there are no safe working load signs on the shelving to allow your operatives to understand what loads they can safely place on the shelves in order to use the system.

There is probably some work to be done here on safe load signage and understanding the imposed loads that you have.


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