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SEMA where safety comes as standard!

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20 December 2016

By Matt Grierson, President of SEMA, the Storage Equipment Manufacturers’ Association.

Our 2016 campaign, Safety’s a Job for All continued in our mission to spell out to both end user businesses and our own industry that they each bear a responsibility to contribute to the pursuit of a zero accident work environment.

In 2017, SEMA enters its 50th year of service and our agenda remains unwavering. We are proud of the rigorous structure and standards developed by SEMA  and the fruits of our labours are evident.

At our recent conference, Safety in the Storage Industry: Meeting Customers’ Expectations, we saw speakers from nine key organisations including some key retail brands explain how their safe storage working practices follow SEMA’s guiding principles and codes of practice. Our conference speakers illustrated how safety in storage has a direct effect on the lives of workers and end users.

Safe storage follows a cyclical approach; safe manufacture offering full traceability of product, safe design to meet SEMA’s strict codes of practice, safe installation by SEIRS qualified labour and a rigorous, structured approach to rack maintenance through inspection and repair.

This year, we’ve reminded businesses of their responsibilities under April 2015’s new CDM regulations where clients are now regarded as the head of the procurement chain and that new sentencing guidelines for health and safety offences came into force. Organisations and individuals now may face much greater fines and more individuals could face custodial sentences for serious offences. See  So if you think safety’s too expensive, try having an accident.

Market requests SEMA Distributor Companies

Since compulsory independent auditing of SEMA Distributor Group (SDG) members was introduced in 2014, companies are increasingly requesting SDG membership on tender lists as they know that someone else has already done the leg work on health and safety, use of trained labour and correct storage design. We acknowledge that there’s a need to operate UK-wide, so, that’s where the SEMA Distributor Companies come into their own, as collectively, our group network has extensive geographical reach.

SEIRS CSCS Partner Card Scheme

Recognised as the governing body of the UK storage industry, SEMA has earned the right to manage our own dedicated, registered training scheme which meets the standards imposed by the Construction Leadership Council. The Storage Equipment Installers’ Registration Scheme (SEIRS) has been approved to operate as a Partner Card Scheme as it meets the requirements of the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS).

SEMA Technical Committee

The SEMA Technical Committee has influence on both European and domestic audiences. There has been a SEMA major upgrade to the design code on Adjustable Pallet Racking (APR). SEMA has updated and published its Code of Practice for the Design and Use of Cantilever Racking Systems and added a Cantilever racking module to its Approved Inspector training programme.

SEMA Training

The SEMA Rack Maintenance course continues to be popular with maintenance personnel working in heavily used warehouses. It works in parallel with SEIRS courses by responding to a demand for proper guidance on repairs to rack damage.  

Load Notices Video

End users have been reminded via an informational video that the SEMA Load Notice is a key safety item. This essential signage gives the main points to workers "on the shop-floor" as they carry out their duties. It also delivers key pieces of specific information and reminders about the most important safety messages and shows who supplied the equipment and whom to contact. There should be a SEMA Load Notice on every installation. As far as the load notice is concerned there are only two logos that are relevant - the SEMA Distributor Company logo and the main SEMA logo. However, it does not give every last piece of safety information. Load Notices is the third in a series of SEMA’s promotional videos which can be viewed on YouTube or via the SEMA website.


SEMA also exhibited at IMHX 2016 and SEMA’s Dagan Hyde delivered a presentation at the seminar at the event pointing out that in terms of ROI, safety is self-funding, i.e. that a well-designed racking system built to SEMA Codes of Practice offers longevity so you can access products at the right time, goods remain merchandisable and staff can work in a safe environment. 

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