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What standards apply to the creation of rack load notices?


Question: What standards apply to the creation of rack load notices in the UK?

Short Answer: In the UK, the creation of rack load notices must comply with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidelines and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER). Additionally, the standards set by the European Committee for standardisation (specifically EN 15635:2008) provide guidance on the storage and operation of industrial racking.


Detailed Answer: Rack load notices are critical components of warehouse safety and must adhere to several standards and regulations to ensure they are effective and compliant:

  1. Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Guidelines: The HSE provides general guidelines on workplace safety, which include ensuring that all racking systems are safe and have clear load notices. These guidelines stress the importance of providing clear information on the safe load capacities of racking to prevent accidents caused by overloading.
  2. Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER): PUWER requires that all work equipment, including storage racking, must be suitable for its purpose, properly maintained, and accompanied by suitable safety measures. This includes having clear and legible rack load notices that specify the safe working loads. PUWER also mandates regular inspections and maintenance of equipment to ensure ongoing safety.
  3. BS EN 15635:2008 – ‘Steel static storage systems – Application and maintenance of storage equipment’: This European standard provides specific guidance on the use and maintenance of storage systems. It includes recommendations for the provision of rack load notices, specifying that notices should clearly state the maximum permissible loads and provide detailed information on the configurations for which these loads apply. The standard also covers the responsibilities of storage system users, including the need for regular inspections and training.
  4. SEMA (Storage Equipment Manufacturers Association) Codes: Although not a legal requirement, SEMA codes of practice provide detailed guidance on the safe design, installation, and use of storage racking systems. SEMA’s guidelines for rack load notices suggest what information should be included and how it should be displayed to ensure clarity and visibility.

Creating and maintaining compliant rack load notices involves:

  • Ensuring that all information is accurate and reflects the current configuration and condition of the racking system.
  • Using durable materials for the notices to ensure they remain legible and intact over time.
  • Positioning notices prominently and in multiple locations if necessary to ensure they are visible to all warehouse personnel.

Compliance with these standards is not only a legal obligation but also a crucial element in maintaining a safe working environment. Regular audits, training, and updates to the rack load notices as configurations change are essential practices.


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