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SEMA’s influence is widespread

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23 May 2019


For over half a century, SEMA has evolved to become a leading influence in the development of safety storage practice, in part by linking and collaborating with other leading groups and bodies. This reach is national, pan-European and international. 

Today, UK-wide, it is the “industry partner and point of reference” on storage safety for the HSE, Local Authorities, RoSPA and the CSCS together with manufacturers (at both board and technical level). Speakers from statutory authorities and other prominent groups often participate at SEMA’s external thought leadership events.

Back in the 1980s, SEMA joined as an early member of the British Materials Handling Federation (BMHF) and FEM – the European Materials Handling Federation. Today, linked to BMFH, it is a major contributor to FEM, leading on a number of initiatives. Importantly, SEMA is the UK National Committee Member of one of FEM’s seven product groups; Racking and Shelving which is responsible for deriving product standardisation. 

FEM’s SEMA-influenced publications

Over the years, other SEMA technical publications have heavily influenced the content of FEM’s technical library. There are numerous examples of SEMA innovation being selected and implemented more widely.

FEM has now developed a ‘Rack Protector Code’ which draws heavily on SEMA’s definitive UK version. This SEMA UK code states the requirements with regard to the design and use of frame protection together with upright protection of pallet racking in truck-operated racking. It outlines clearly the responsibilities of designers, suppliers and end-users.

FEM Racking and Shelving have recently published a number of guidance documents and Codes of Practice including:

  • 10.2.14 - Part 1 and 2, Warehouse floors
  • 10.2.16 - Design and Use of Rack Protection for Adjustable Pallet Racking
  • 10.2.17 - Part 1 and 2, Worked Example Drive-In and Drive-Through Racking

See the FEM Racking and Shelving Website

What’s more, SEMA’s association’s renowned “Traffic Light System for Categorising Rack Damage” has also been adopted across Europe, and also, across many parts of the globe.

Work has recently commenced on new FEM Codes for Mobile and Shuttle racking and revising the FEM Shelving Design Code. FEM Racking and Shelving is a partner in a European Research project into the fatigue of Racking Components and at the European Standards level, work is also taking place to review the main racking design code, EN 15512 and the clearances, tolerances and deformations code, EN 15620.

CH’s own quote is

“SEMA's substantial contribution to the development of FEM, National and European Codes and Standards has enabled state of the art technical guidelines to be published for the benefit of all Storage System Manufacturers, Specifiers and End Users. These Standards are held in high regard by all parties, including Statutory Authorities.”

Colin Hinton, Secretary General, FEM Racking and Shelving  


A complimentary copy of the SEMA Code of Practice for the Use of Static Pallet Racking (in pdf format) is available for end-users at

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