Racks and storage facilities are classified as work equipment and are therefore subject to the Occupational Safety Act. This is why they must be inspected regularly by qualified persons, and the new European standard DIN EN 15635 specifies the sequence of checks that must be carried out periodically on installations.
The new European standard DIN EN 15635, as well as the decree on company safety, requires a qualified person to regularly inspect racking and storage facilities.
In the age of digitalisation, complex computer programmes are used to calculate the structure of professional storage facilities, which facilitate the optimal use of storage areas. Damage can reduce the load capacity of shelves and, if this happens, racking systems are unstable and extremely dangerous for the safety of people, machinery and the stored products themselves.
As mentioned above, and especially according to general opinion, storage systems are work equipment and therefore subject to the decree on company safety. This decree applies to the provision of racks by the employer, as well as the use of racks by employees. Article 10 requires regular inspections of storage facilities, while Article 3 determines the type of racking, its extent and the periodicity of the checks to be carried out. All these timeframes are regulated by the European standard DIN EN 15635.
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A qualified inspection requires a high level of expertise, which our experts have acquired through many years of experience and valuable in-house training.
As already mentioned, the inspection of storage facilities must be carried out by a qualified and competent person. This means that the inspector in charge is familiar with the specific standards relating to racks, such as DIN EN 15512, DIN EN 15620, DIN EN 15629, DIN EN 15635 and, above all, is obliged to apply these standards during the inspection. It is also important to know that only the inspectors of the respective manufacturer can carry out a qualified inspection.
The racks must be inspected at least every 12 months by a competent person, and the employer is responsible for the safety of his storage facilities.
The regulations of the professional association have been mandatory since 1988 and require the immediate removal of all damaged parts of the racking that could endanger workers and all those moving around the installation. In the old version of the standard, ZH 1/428, as well as in the new version of BGR 234, it is not specified when damage or a real defect exists on an installation. However, in recent years, racking manufacturers from all over Europe have developed this topic further, collaborating with institutes and universities to provide more detailed information on the damage that is detected in installations. These studies have led to the development of DIN EN 15635. The employer is obliged to schedule regular and systematic inspections, both for static and for electrically or mechanically driven storage facilities.
Regular and systematic inspections increase the safety of the installations and create a real potential for savings. Inspections of racks must be carried out during their "operation", i.e. with goods stored inside them, to check that they can actually support the expected load. The inspector carries out visual checks to ensure that the protective measures comply with current regulations. The early detection of damage to the plant allows the problem to be resolved at low repair costs and, above all, prevents accidents and other dangerous situations. If damage is reported during the inspection, it is very important to analyse it thoroughly in order to reveal its cause and then take preventive measures for the future. In countries such as the Netherlands and the UK, these inspections have been carried out for many years, and the data from the inspections show that, thanks to these measures, the safety of racking and storage systems can be significantly increased while keeping repair costs at a very low level.