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Protecting your racking – are your shelves safe?

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Health and safety tps for your retail business

If you’re a health and safety manager, or an employee with similar responsibilities, then providing a safe working environment is your primary concern and purpose. Safeguarding people and assets from harm is principal to succeeding in this role. For warehouse safety managers, racking protection is an important consideration due to the mixture of physical and mental safety precautions that cannot be overlooked.

Initial Prevention Techniques

Right from the get go, from the very moment you first install your racking system, you must have safety at all times. There are numerous safety measures that must be abided by when installing shelves in your building for the first time, and when it comes to repairing existing shelf units too. Any electrical equipment staff have been issued with must have an up-to-date portable appliance testing examination.

Health and safety managers should have a detailed understanding of the given risk assessment and ensure colleagues are sufficiently informed also. Many health and safety managers will regularly observe and question the skill legitimacy, abilities and accreditations of the team they are overseeing in order to prevent problems before they occur.

For example, anyone employed whose responsibilities necessitates contact with a shelving unit is expected to easily perform, without hesitation, the proper lifting and moving technique required when working with heavy stock.

Racking Protection and Safety Barriers

Once your shelving units are installed it’s important to consider how you’re going to protect them, just like you protect your people. Guardrails and safety barriers are essential safety tools in any warehouse, or any other environment that holds large amounts of heavy stock. Safety barriers have evolved and improved leaps and bounds over the last number of years.

No longer must we rely on fragile and frequently irreparable concrete barriers, now there is the introduction of Flex Impact safety barriers from companies such as Boplan. These alternative guardrails are modular in design and absorb the pressure of an impact much more effectively than the concrete kind.

Vital Standards to Enforce

Health and safety managers should always adhere to HSE guidelines. The guidelines outline all activity concerning shelf racks, such as inspections, installations, repairs and typical work. These activities should only be executed by a SEMA permitted racking inspectors or employees. If anyone else is to undertake the task, the law has been broken. It is also technically illegal to not report an incompetent member of staff. This applies to all levels of company management, even colleagues working the same role.

The personal protective equipment listed in the risk assessment should also be worn by all members of staff working with or near the shelves. Vehicles should under no circumstances be operated by anyone other than staff members with the appropriate accreditation, qualifications or licenses.

If all of the above is followed, racking protection related injuries will be minimised, and a safer working environment can be achieved for all!



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