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SEMA SAYS: Cutting Corners on Rack Safety can cost £millions

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25 April 2019

Rack collapses are rare, but they tend to be catastrophic when they happen. SEMA Distributor Group leaders, Simon King and Jonathan Bennett presented at The Health & Safety Event on how The Storage Equipment Manufacturer’s Association’s independently audited distributor group members can help to maximise rack safety.

Some 101 out of 298 day delegates chose to attend the SEMA Distributor Group session aptly named, Cutting Corners on Rack Safety can cost £Millions.


Speaker extracts include:

Simon King ex-chair, SEMA Distributor Group told the Safer Logistics seminar theatre:

“The design of pallet racking was largely perfected 40 years ago, but proper maintenance is key. The problem is that while the product - pallet racking - has very serious safety implications if it goes wrong, there is very little regulation of the industry. 

“There are around 430 companies in the UK storage industry, varying from huge companies to one-man bands working from a back bedroom. There are no barriers to entry. So, you’ve got to use partners that are working to standard in terms of staff, products, and maintenance regimes.

“In 2013, a woman was killed in a rack collapse, when important locking pins were missing in the racking.

“As well as the risk of injury, product damage and business disruption are also major concerns. A catastrophic racking failure can cost a company millions.”

Jonathan Bennett, chair of the SEMA Distributor Group (SDG) added: “To protect yourself from these issues, you’ve got to look for the badge of credibility. 

“If you need to have gas work carried out, you would only use Gas Safe registered installers.

“For racking, we recommend SEMA as the badge to look for when you need rack repair, maintenance and installation. 

“SDG comprises 30 elite companies throughout the UK. Our members are independently audited across many criteria.

“We have a two-stage process for adding new members, we will vet their references, and then have an independent auditor scrutinise their processes. 

“We want to put clear blue water between SEMA members and the rest of the industry.”

SDG takes a rigorous approach, with 20% of its original members asked to leave the Association back in 2014, because they could not meet the standards.


SEMA Distributor Group Key Facts 2019

Members of SEMA, the Storage Equipment Manufacturers’ Association, the SEMA Distributor Group (SDG) is:

  • A unique group of like-minded business people dedicated to raising industry quality standards
  • A tough organisation with a rigorous, totally independent auditing process
  • Led by a select committee who continuously monitor and build on ethics and ethos to improve safety standards
  • Our on-going assessment of members ensures standards remain as high as possible
  • Any member who doesn’t maintain expectations is asked to leave
  • We deliver nationwide coverage, which is provided by successful, established companies that lead the way in the UK
  • The SEMA Distributors’ Group is the only scheme in the UK that independently audits the competence of resellers and distributors of storage equipment. All SEMA Distributor Companies (SDCs) have been independently audited. 

Check your supplier’s credentials
The leg work's been done for you as checking insurance can be pretty time consuming. There are two quick-fire ways to easily check. Either ask to see a current SDC Audit Certificate as proof of QA or click on to see if your proposed supplier is listed.

Log on to and watch a short video on the benefits of choosing a SEMA Distributor Company or to find a list of regional members. For information or membership enquiries, call the SEMA office on 0121 601 6359 or visit

For more details on The Health & Safety Event visit


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