How often should racking be inspected?

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Is racking dangerous?

It shouldn’t have to be, but it doesn’t really matter how much your managers, forklift drivers or warehouse workers have been trained to work with racking, pallets and materials handling equipment, you cannot stop natural wear and tear on all racking. Combined with human error, it is possible that accidents may occur between pedestrians or drivers and racking. However it may have been damaged, this may affect its capacity to hold loads – and worst-case scenario, result in collapse. It’s therefore important to inspect equipment in the workplace, but – how often should racking be inspected?

Health and Safety

All workplaces should adhere to health and safety regulations for the wellbeing of their staff and visitors. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is a UK Government agency that oversees and encourages the regulation and enforcement of the health, safety and welfare in the workplace. To be in line with risk assessments, the HSE states that ‘Inspection is necessary for any equipment where significant risks to health and safety may arise from…deterioration or any other circumstances.’

How often should racking be inspected?

This depends on the nature of the business. In their guide to safety for warehousing and storage, and in particular the racking systems section, the HSE states that: ‘to ensure that a racking installation continues to be serviceable and safe, the equipment should be inspected regularly.’ They continue that: ‘The frequency of inspections should be determined by a nominated ‘person responsible for racking safety’ ‘ (PRRS).

Nominate a PRRS

Firstly, identity who the business feels would be the best fit to determine the inspections of the racking systems. He or she would need to take into account the nature of the business, the frequency of use of the warehouse racking, how many employees use the system, and the size and spaces of the warehouse. Visual inspections should be overseen by the PRRS and these are recommended to be carried out at either weekly or other regular intervals. It is also suggested that a formal written report should be kept, as per the risk assessment for the racking system.

Are racking inspections a legal requirement?

No – racking inspections are not technically a legal requirement, however, if warehouses do not have some form of racking inspection, businesses are then ignoring the advice offered from the HSE. This means that if someone is injured or there is an accident involving the warehouse’s racking, the company would be legally responsible and could end up in legal action. It’s best to follow the HSE’s advice and to ensure your racking is inspected at regular intervals.

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Thomas Hewitt