SEMA President John Halliday talks about how to ensure you can maximise Return on Investment from your Back of Store storage handling systems, with safety built-in.

When you’re buying storage solutions, your structure should be fit for purpose, offer longevity and give you no cause for concern. Quality of manufacture of constituent products, correct design to meet standards and regulations and installation via safe practices are all on the shopping list. Once in-situ, the installation will need to be maintained properly if it’s to maximise on your investment and not be the source of safety hazards along the way.

The wish list is hardly a big ask but how do you make sure that your standards are implemented? Trade bodies such as, SEMA, the Storage Equipment Manufacturers’ Association, are a source of reassurance because they provide guidance and a membership base dedicated to the safe design, installation and use of storage equipment.

SEMA has been advising for over 40 years and is well respected in the UK and Europe for its knowledge and experience in developing Codes of Practice, for engineering excellence and more. SEMA is currently implementing a new Code of Practice for the Design of Adjustable Pallet Racking.

So why should you buy from a SEMA Member?

It’s all about quality, safety, reliability and, ultimately, real value for money. For example, SEMA members’ product designs undergo a third party assessment as part of the SEMA Quality Assurance System. Their systems are subject to audit as part of ISO 9000 and/or a rigorous SEMA audit. Customers also benefit from product traceability on original equipment supplied, and safety is a key focus.

Other dedicated SEMA organisations have been set up to fulfil retail needs via a quality circle. Acronyms abound – SEIRS, SAIC and most recently, the SDG – but what are they all about?

What is SEIRS?

The HSE has stated that: “The Health & Safety Executive welcomes SEIRS and the initiative taken by SEMA. It demonstrates that SEMA is committed to raising both standards and awareness of Health and Safety issues associated with Storage Equipment.”

SEIRS is a registration system for individual installers of storage equipment.

The SEIRS ID Card and registration system offers recognised installer progression through advanced, supervisory and safety management training and is based upon three key components:

• SEMA’s installation Guideline/ Code of Practice

• Storage Industry safety-specific training courses.

• An ID Card and registration system

End users benefit because installers are qualified professionals and must abide by SEMA Guidelines and Codes of Practice.

SAIC stands for SEMA Approved Installation Company. To qualify as a SAIC member, the company must demonstrate a high level of commitment to safety standards, work to industry codes of practice and be regulated by an annual audit.

Completing the quality circle

In 2011, SEMA completed the circle of quality by introducing experienced distributor companies into the fold. Previously, distributors operated separately under the SHEDA umbrella. In recent times both SEMA and SHEDA felt that by working together, they could offer better service to the end-user and raise standards.

SEMA Distributor Companies (SDCs) are fully committed to best practice in Health & Safety, the installation of original equipment, the SEIRS training programme and the SDG Member Charter. So from your perspective you know that:

• The SEMA brand is already trusted

• Products are recognised as fit for purpose

• Installers are individually certified through SEIRS

• Health & Safety is a priority

• SDG installations have longevity

• SDG installations offer Return On Investment

• SDC companies can display a certificate of membership and the SDC logo

• You can log onto www.sema.org.uk and select from approved companies in your area

End-user training

SEMA also hosts events very relevant to retail industry procurement. The annual SEMA Safety Conference & Exhibition (early November) updates the storage industry supply chain on the latest developments. Presentations are provided by industry experts, the HSE and other key authorities with updates on legislation, regulation and best practice affecting end users. SEMA’s Standards & Regulations Seminar Conference at the National Metalforming Centre, West Bromwich will take place on Wednesday 30th May 2012.

Also for end-user personnel, the one-day Rack Safety Awareness Course is aimed primarily at end users who have involvement with, or responsibility for, the safe use of racking systems. The course also benefits H & S officials, inspectors and suppliers of storage equipment.

The one-day Managing Rack Maintenance Course offers another key benefit to end users and focuses on maintaining racking structures, correct maintenance procedures and requisite team skill sets.

It’s no coincidence that one of the UK’s food retailing giants is already specifying SEMA membership on all tenders for new installations.

If you would like to find out more or would like specific training for your personnel visit www.sema.org.uk or telephone 0121 601 6350

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