Health and Safety
Welcome to Technical Topics. The aim of this column is to explore some of the areas that influence the design and effectiveness of a storage system. Technical Topics is a regular feature of Rack It, so, if you have a subject you would like included, let us know. Health and Safety is rightly at the forefront of everyone’s mind. It is unacceptable that people at work should be exposed to any risk to their safety – even more so if that risk is avoidable. Installing a storage and handling system that comprises of large, heavy items being lifted to significant heights obviously has inherent risks. This article is about how we manage and minimise those risks.
Safety is taken into consideration from the very start and at every stage in our production process. Controlled via our quality control standard ISO 9001: 2000, it is highlighted by our sales department during our initial contacts with the customer, and then through the design, contracts, production control, manufacture and despatch processes. Various standards and codes of practice are applicable to the assembly of a storage system – more of them later, but our objective is to exceed the minimum requirements stipulated.
Redirack has a long established safe method of working, including associated risk assessments and control measures. Installations will, whenever possible, conform to the SEMA industry code of practice and be completed by qualified Storage Equipment Installers Registration Scheme (SEIRS) registered installers. This means our customers know that their storage systems is built correctly and is fundamentally safe. It also means that during its installation all the correct procedures were followed and that the system will remain safe for its projected working life.
SEMA and SEIRS
SEMA is the association of the Storage Equipment Manufacturers. An independent body funded by the members, it produces internationally recognised Codes of Practice that cover the design, use and installation of storage systems.
SEIRS is a training and registration scheme for installers of storage equipment. It is administered by SEMA. By using registered installers you know you are getting your storage system installed correctly and to the manufacturer’s tolerances. Our installers will have attained relevant SEIRS registration and in some cases the site supervisors have the supervisor’s version. It is worth noting that this is dedicated training for rack installers in the rack industry which is endorsed by the Health & Safety Executive.
Construction Design and Management Regulations
The new Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 (CDM 2007) are expected to come into force on 6th April 2007. The key aim of CDM 2007 according to the HSE web site ‘is to integrate health and safety into the management of the project and to encourage everyone involved to work together to improve the planning and management of projects; identify risks early on; target effort where it can do the most good in terms of health and safety; and discourage unnecessary bureaucracy.’
Not all storage system installations fall under the requirements of the CDM regulations. If yours does we will inform you and help you with the requirements of the regulations.
Safe Working Practices
Our installers adhere to our safe methods of work as well as all relevant generic or site specific risk assessments. Installers will have recognised certification for mechanical plant such as fork lift trucks and mobile elevating work platforms (MEWP). Where appropriate, we will also incorporate any relevant codes of practice given in SEMA’s industry standards for design, installation and Health and Safety practices.
Consideration will be given to ALL current Health & Safety legislation and site audits will be carried out and discussed at relevant meetings. Results of findings are used to update methods of work and Health and Safety issues.
Personal Protective Equipment
Personal protective equipment will only be used by us as a last resort. We always try to design out, or use methods of work that eliminate the requirement of PPE. This is because PPE only protects the wearer. So, for example MEWPS will be used wherever possible instead of operators with safety harnesses climbing the rack. If risk assessments identify a requirement for PPE, installers will be trained in its use.
Redirack is committed to safety in the work place. The storage industry generally and Redirack in particular have an excellent safety record, but complacency is the greatest threat, one we recognise and work hard to avoid.