SEMA’s Concerns About Companies Repairing Damaged Racking Uprights Instead of Replacing Them

Damaged racking uprights are better replaced than repaired, according to the storage and racking main regulatory body, SEMA.

As the storage and racking industry’s main regulatory body, SEMA provides an industry voice to promote the safe design, installation and use of storage equipment supplied by its members.

There is a section of SEMA’s organisation which includes qualified companies as selected members who design, distribute and install storage equipment. Members of this initiative must adhere to all the relevant regulations and use the correct design data, delivering on quality, safety and reliability; if a company is searching for durable, safe storage equipment, they are going to buy it from a SEMA distributor.

By upholding such values, we are proud to have been awarded the position of an official distributor member here at Stodec. As part of this role, we are keen to draw attention to any safety issues identified by SEMA to improve industry standards.


SEMA’s recent concerns

SEMA has recently raised concerns about companies who are promoting straightening damaged racking uprights on-site rather than replacing them. This can be extremely dangerous as there is a high possibility of metal fatigue which can cause the racking to collapse and potentially create a great deal of damage.

SEMA’s technical committee states that this way of repairing adjustable pallet racking rather than replacing it defies the health and safety practice stated in the HSE’s guideline on Warehousing and Storage HSG76.

The association adds that any racking altered in this way is extremely hazardous and its safety will not be underwritten by any SEMA rack manufacturer.


Manufacturer’s Warranty and Independent Testing

  • Racking structures manufactured by SEMA members in the UK come with the manufacturer’s warranty.
  • To ensure the supplied products are fit for purpose, independent testing of the manufacturer’s products is carried out in line with BS EN 15512 and SEMA Code requirements. Online guidance detailing the installation, safe use and inspection of racking is available on SEMA’s website.
  • After being modified and straightened, elements of the racking will have changed from their initial design on which the original approval testing was carried out. This means they may no longer be in line with the relevant health and safety regulations.
  • This inclusion of a third party who are carrying out the repair means the manufacturer’s warranty and recommended carrying capacity – as displayed on the load notice – becomes void; the third party will become liable for the modifications made to the racking.


Importance of Replacing Damaged Rack Components

BS EN 15635 clearly states that the safest way to repair damaged rack components is by replacement with like for like parts. This process typically means that the racking is restored to near original condition, meaning it can be warranted again by the initial manufacturer.

According to clause 652 of the HSG76 guidelines: “where damage is identified that affects the safety of the racking system, the racking should be offloaded and controls introduced to prevent it being used until remedial work has been carried out”. Therefore, any companies who claim there is no need to offload pallets to carry out the repair are, in SEMA’s opinion, undertaking a high risk procedure.

SEMA’s newly appointed president, Matt Grierson commented: “SEMA can appreciate the commercial merits of the straightening of bent uprights in, what has to be said, is an expedient manner, but these benefits would be very short term should an accident occur. In our belief, there is a strong risk of metal fatigue occurring which will reduce the load carrying capacity of the racking. In law, every repairer company or end user organisation has a duty of care to its employees and users of racking facilities.”

As an accredited Dexion storage centre and member of SEMA, you can have total faith that all of our products here at Stodec are of the highest quality and follow the relevant health and safety regulations. Simply get in touch with our expert team today for further information – we are always happy to help with any enquiry.

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