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SARI Inspections - What's it all about?

Following the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, employers have a legal obligation to routinely inspect any ‘work equipment’ which could deteriorate or be damaged. Storage racking falls within the definition of ‘work equipment’ and as such, any damage can not only be commercially disastrous and dangerous to work around, but it is also a legal requirement for any business to repair any damage.

HSE Publication HSG76 states that:

"To ensure that a racking installation continues to be serviceable and safe, the storage equipment should be inspected on a regular basis."

A technically competent person should carry out inspections at intervals of not more than 12 months. A written report should be submitted to the PRRS with observations and proposals for any action necessary. A technically competent person might be a trained specialist within an organisation, a specialist from the rack supplier, or an independent qualified rack inspector - A SEMA Approved Rack Inspector (SARI).

What happens if we fail our inspection?

The truth is, you can’t fail your inspection – this isn’t a pass or fail exercise. It simply highlights the areas in which you have damage which needs to be rectified. You will be provided with a full written report for your records, along with a defect sheet which shows all of the areas that need attention, and for a racking supplier to quote to correct.

While you can’t actually fail an inspection, the Inspector is able to condemn certain parts of the Racking if it is deemed to unsafe to use. This would prompt the immediate unloading of the affected bays, at the Inspectors call, and this would not be refilled until all damaged components are rectified.

I’ve had an inspection, am I now fine till next year?

The honest answer is it simply depends. If your inspection report comes back saying that you have no damage and there are no defects with the pallet racking, then well done, top marks, and you can carry on till next years inspection. However, if your report comes back with repair work needing to be done, you have a responsibility to ensure this is carried out. The completion of the inspection itself is not enough to protect you – you must get the repairs done as soon as is possible. Admittedly, getting the inspection done is a step in the right direction but it will not cover you in the event of bodily harm as a result of negligence.

Should I continue to check my racking between Annual SARI Inspections?

Yes, between the Annual Inspections it is very much recommended that the PRRS (Person Responsible for Racking Safety) continues to check the Pallet Racking thoroughly for any noticeable damage and report it to get it repaired.

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