Mike Tucker, chairman of SEMA’s SEIRS Management Committee, talks to SHD Logistics about recent developments in storage safety and training.
SEMA places health and safety at the heart of its agenda. Liaison with statutory and independent bodies has been a key element of our remit since the Storage Equipment Manufacturers’ Association (SEMA) was set up as our industry’s lead body almost 50 years ago.
With a mandate to improve safety in the storage industry, over the years we’ve worked cohesively with the HSE and other bodies to establish and continually improve safe working practices. Two recent alignments with RoSPA and the CSCS have both borne fruit.
SEMA’s programme of courses has been RoSPA approved.
On-going storage safety
Recently, the leading certification card scheme for construction the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) backed SEMA’s requirement for installer training to be on-going in the storage equipment industry on the basis that safety is of paramount importance and that regulations continually evolve. Refresher training is seen an integral and essential part of this mission.
CSCS cards provide proof that individuals working on construction sites have the required training and qualifications. Now in its 15th year, the Storage Equipment Installers’ Registration Scheme, SEIRS, (run by SEMA) is an ID card and registration system. SEIRS qualified personnel are recognised by CSCS in the category of a Construction Related Occupation (CRO). They can work on construction sites as they have met the requirement for up to date training and qualifications.
All CSCS card holders who are installers of storage equipment (not just CRO card holders) seeking to renew their CSCS card must have a SEIRS card that’s valid for at least the next six months as proof of on-going training and development.
SEIRS requires installers to undertake its own ‘Category A’ safety training course, and the ID card is valid for three years. To renew the SEIRS card, the installer must complete a further ‘Category A’ safety course which could be supervisory, a refresher course or one of a number of SEIRS product-specific advanced courses.
Our SEIRS scheme stands out because installers are obliged to keep up to date. That’s why we insist that all CSCS card holders installing storage equipment have current SEIRS qualifications.
Schemes where the continual acquisition of new knowledge and best practice by experienced personnel is mandatory, surely offer the most accountable method of maintaining a mature, safety conscious workforce. It’s a very effective example of an industry policing itself.
Since the year 2000, we have trained and retrained approximately 4,000 delegates. It needs to be remembered though that the courses are not about learning how to install racking – that’s the employer’s responsibility. Courses instruct installers on the safe way to work, e.g. PPE, installation methods, codes of practice, applicable legislation, hierarchy of control, etc. Content is delivered at various levels on basic and advanced skills, mezzanines, supervisory, managerial and refresher work. We provide a framework which benefits the installer, their employer and the end user.
To support best practice in the workplace, SEMA’s ever popular ‘Toolbox Talks’ for site supervisors have been expanded to include “Noise during Storage Equipment Installation” and “Personal Protection: Dust”. A full set of all 39 guidance notes is available on CD Rom.
Our “Code of Practice for the Design of Adjustable Pallet Racking” has been fully revised and is now available.
We shall continue to work with RoSPA, the CSCS and other lead bodies to achieve a zero accident working environment.
SEMA's annual safety conference
SEMA’s Annual Safety Conference takes place on Thursday 6th November at the National Motorcycle Museum, Solihull. Nine speakers cover current statutory and product related topics plus case study material on the theme of “Safety in the Storage Industry: Working towards Zero Harm”.
SEMA is the British Trade Association of the Storage Equipment Industry. It is committed to promoting and extending the safe design, installation and use of storage equipment manufactured and supplied by its members.