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Does Pallet Racking come under LOLER or PUWER in HSE?

The HSE, Health and Safety Executive, is the government agency responsible for the encouragement, regulation, and enforcement of health and safety in the workplace. They have set out guidelines for work equipment to ensure employers are operating safely. Pallet racking must be maintained to the standards set out by the HSE. PUWER and LOLER are both sections of HSE guidance relating to the use and safety of equipment in the workplace.

LOLER are the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations. These regulations place duties on any person or company who owns, operates, or manages lifting equipment. It requires for all lifting operations to be properly planned by a competent person, appropriately supervised, and carried out safely. All equipment must undergo a periodic thorough inspection to comply with statutory requirements and ensure all equipment is fit for purpose, and appropriate for the task at hand. Most often, lifting equipment will be work equipment and thus also comes under PUWER.

PUWER are the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations. These place duties on any person or company who owns, operates, or manages work equipment. There are responsibilities placed on businesses whose employees use work equipment, no matter the owner. It works together with LOLER to ensure that all machinery or equipment is used and handled responsibly. PUWER requires all equipment at work to be suitable for its intended use, safe for use and maintained in safe condition, used only by those who have received adequate instruction and training, accompanied by the appropriate health and safety measures, and used in accordance with specific requirements.

Warehouse pallet racking, while often used in conjunction with lifting equipment, comes under PUWER and not LOLER. If your racking fails to comply with PUWER you could not only be risking the lives of your employees, but also exposing your company to prosecution risks.

Pallet racking is often overlooked under PUWER, but damaged racking can have catastrophic consequences for lives and for your business. 90% of pallet rack failure and collapse is caused by forklift damage, emphasising the importance to maintain high standards of safety, and stick to PUWER guidelines.

One of the easiest ways to ensure your pallet racking complies with PUWER regulations is to get regular - at least annually - inspections from a SARI, a SEMA Approved Racking Inspector. SEMA is the trade governing body and shares best practice guidelines while representing the interests of the industry. Here at DC Space and Storage Solutions we operate a team of SARI who have been approved by the HSE and ensure you are operating correctly under PUWER regulations as well as demonstrating that you are using due diligence to ensure the safety of your employees.

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