29 Nov Understanding the SEMA Load Notices with Pallet Racking
In our everyday lives we are bombarded with signs and notices telling us what to do and what not to do. It can be easy to become complacent and ignore them. However, often such signs contain important information vital to ensuring the safety of everyone in the area, particularly when in a warehouse environment which stores heavy equipment. Failing to adhere to safety notices here, or not fully understanding what they mean, could have fatal consequences.
SEMA (the Storage Equipment Manufacturer’s Association) issues guidance regarding the safe use of storage equipment. Their notices, which should be attached to all pallet racking, provide information about how to safely load each installation.
They are often split into three sections:
1. Administrative information giving the suppliers’ contact details
2. Specific information relating to that particular installation
3. General safety instructions
General Safety Instructions
The general information on a SEMA notice applies to all storage equipment and reminds all users to regularly inspect equipment and report any signs of damage. It also contains basic warnings such as never to climb racking units, since doing so could cause them to topple. Additionally, it advises that alterations to any racking system may affect its carrying capacity, so checks should always be made with the supplier before any changes are carried out.
Specific Load Notices
These are individual to each piece of equipment, taking into account its limitations. These signs should be followed closely as, in the case of pallet racking in particular, changes to the height of the first shelf and thereafter between shelves can drastically alter the amount of weight that can be loaded. In some cases, it could be reduced by as much as half.
The notices also assume that the loads are evenly distributed across the racking unit. Simply being under the total maximum weight capacity for the unit does not guarantee its safety. It is important to follow the signs for how weight is distributed too. Normal pallets often provide a uniform distribution of load, but some may not.
Professional racking suppliers, such as residential shelving Ireland from rackzone.ie/shelving/industrial-residential-shelving, can offer expert advice on the safe use and maintenance of storage equipment.
Where heavy loads are concerned, the safe storage of them is vital both in the workplace and at home. SEMA notices are an important reminder that nobody should ignore.