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Rack awareness explained


Why do we need to train our staff to inspect our racking?  

PUWER (Provision & Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998), Health & Safety (HSG76), and SEMA guidelines require that storage racks are subject to regular inspection.  Furthermore, they require that users conduct regular weekly inspections of storage racks.


The Rack Awareness Training course will instruct users in the correct method of conducting internal weekly rack inspections in accordance with PUWER, Health & Safety (HSG76), and SEMA guidelines.  The course is presented by a fully qualified SEMA Approved Rack Inspector (SARI). If we have already completed a full inspection for you the course can be tailored to your particular application. 


The course runs on your site minimising disruption for staff who are often far more comfortable in familiar surroundings.  Furthermore there is also a significant cost saving in travel expenditure.  Our course is suitable for all ability levels and does not rely on any prior level of warehousing experience or truck driving capabilities although that is clearly beneficial. We always recommend that you train as many delegates as possible to ensure best cover. Pallet rack inspections courses are critical in maintaining high safety standards. This one-day course does not train delegates to the level of ‘technical competence’ required for your annual inspections which should still be undertaken by a SARI or similarly qualified person.

During group work discussions we invariably find that staff are already aware of many of the problems and are keen to volunteer solutions once given a voice.  Once this process starts your staff will begin to take ownership of the process and the task is already half won!  The course then builds on this to enthusiasm develop a better understanding of the storage system and how to best use it safely, and then how to react when damage or problems are identified. We continually remind staff they they have most to loose if something goes wrong and the solutions are often in their own hands.

See the following images of typical issues you will learn to inspect, identify and act upon:




Content of our training course:

The course starts with a general introduction to the warehousing environment, and includes modules covering legislative requirements for inspection, an overview of pallet types and condition, load presentation, rack components, correct use and operation of pallet racking, damage identification, damage assessment, follow up action, completion of damage report forms, damage prevention. and concludes with a trial inspection in your warehouse. We will also provide sample damage report forms that you can use for your own inspections.

Who should attend a training course?


The key people to put on the course are the fork truck drivers.  They are usually responsible for causing the damage and are most at risk in the event of a rack collapse and furthermore are usually best placed to identify damage.  Middle managers & Health & Safety advisers should also attend since are responsible for the day to day operation of the warehouse and sorting out any problems and their 'buy in' is vital.  Senior managers and directors should also attend because it is they who sign off the cheques for repairs. They need to understand the importance of supporting staff and ensuring time and resources are made available since damage reduction equals cost reduction. Directors must remember that ultimately they are liable if something goes wrong!  They must understand that the training course is just the start of a process and must build on the enthusiasm generated by providing support & resources and not see the course as an end in itself.

  • Fork truck drivers – they are the ones that bend the racking and have most at risk if it fails!

  • Middle managers & Health & Safety advisors – they are responsible for ensuring its correct use and maintenance or picking up the pieces!

  • Senior managers & directors – they sign off the cheques and would be liable in the event of an accident so need to know why it is vitally important to fully support and fund the process.

Summary of rack awareness course benefits:

  • Customised pallet inspection training at your site

    • learn to conduct your regular internal weekly and monthly inspections

      • We come to you.  You don't need to send your staff offsite with all the associated costs and time involved.

  • Instruct users in the correct method of conducting internal weekly inspections in accordance with PUWER, Health & Safety and SEMA guidelines

  • Courses are presented by a fully qualified SEMA trained and accredited inspector (SARI)

  • Courses are tailored to your particular application if we have already completed a full rack inspection for you.

  • The course is suitable for all ability levels and does not rely on any prior level of warehousing experience or truck driving capabilities although that is clearly beneficial.

  • Use the Course Quote link to submit a request for a quote.


Summary of rack awareness course content:

  • General introduction to the warehousing environment

  • Legislative requirements for inspection

  • Overview of pallet racking and pallet types

  • Correct use of pallet racking

  • Identification of components

  • Damage identification

  • Damage assessment

  • Completion of damage report forms

  • Rack offloading

  • Damage prevention

  • Follow up action

  • Trial inspection onsite

Click here request a quote.

Training courses are run at your premises.

What are the aims of our rack awareness course?

A primary objective of the rack awareness course is to is to develop a better understanding of your storage system with the philosophy that 'Prevention is better than cure.'  It is important that this process is not simply viewed a damage identification exercise.  The critical point is to understand the causes of damage and then work towards changing custom and practice to prevent recurrence.  There are often simple low or no cost solutions can net huge savings in terms of damage reduction and at the same time create a safer working environment in your warehouse.  But firstly staff must be taught to look because if they don't look they wont see, or put another way they won't see what they are not looking for!  If staff are properly supported to implement this programme the training will pay for itself in a very short period of time.

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