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Safety legislation just got tougher!

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10 January 2016

Safety legislation just got tougher!

Safety legislation just got tougher

SEMA’s President Matt Grierson says that the legal onus on end users of storage systems to implement rigorous safety measures has now grown significantly. The association offers structure and support on compliance to purchasers and users of storage equipment.

The onus on end users to design, construct, inspect and properly maintain storage systems has grown significantly in two respects. April 2015’s new CDM regulations stated that clients are now regarded as the head of the procurement chain and the major influence on project standards and culture. A project is deemed to be more than a construction site and applies to all construction work.

From February 2016, new sentencing guidelines for health and safety offences come into force. Businesses and individuals could face much greater fines and more individuals could face custodial sentences for serious offences than ever before. See

The top two categories of culpability are: Very High - deliberate breach of or flagrant disregard for the law and; High – the offender fell far short of the appropriate standard. Examples are; failing to put in place measures that are recognized standards in the industry; ignoring concerns raised by employees or others; failing to make appropriate changes following prior incident(s) exposing risks to health and safety; allowing breaches to subsist over a long period of time and serious and/or systemic failure within the organisation to address risks to health and safety.

As SEMA works closely with the HSE, we regard “recognized standards” as those which we have established as best practice and are enshrined in SEMA’s Codes of Practice and Guidelines. Racking collapse and subsequent potential prosecution are simple to avoid where there is a safety culture and that correct protocols for inspection, maintenance and repair exist.

Help is at hand to guide building owners and end users. Since 1968, this association has acted as a beacon in terms of best practice; and much of its work is regarded as exemplary.  2015 was another landmark year and, by means of illustration, our Code of Practice for the Design and Use of Racking Protection (cost £58) is recognised as the most comprehensive in Europe. We have 26 publications in stock comprising Codes of Practice, best practice ‘guides’ and European documents.

SEMA leads on training and, for example, its one day safety course on Rack Safety Awareness and Inspection for End Users takes an in-depth look at the need for inspections. It details how to conduct an assessment and outlines what actions to take when the assessment is completed. Courses are normally held at SEMA’s headquarters but arrangements can be made to hold them at delegates’ premises.

SEMA runs a highly successful Users Club which is designed to support and benefit purchasers and users of storage equipment. Members receive newsletters, access to specialised events and discounted rates on publications and codes of practice.


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