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SEMA safety conference focuses on protecting assets

SEMA safety conference focuses on protecting assets
Matt Grierson

The Storage Equipment Manufacturers’ Association (SEMA) is to hold its Annual Safety Conference on Thursday 5th November at the National Motorcycle Museum, Solihull. Nine speakers cover current statutory and generic product related topics illustrated by case study material on the theme of “Safety in the Storage Industry: Protecting Your Assets”.

Nina Day, Senior Engineer at government agency Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL), will explain how workplace transport accounts for over half of all RIDDOR accidents reported to HSE. For many otherwise low-risk companies, the transport of goods is their most dangerous work activity and one that is often overlooked when developing procedures and managing risk.

Rob Shaw, HSL’s Technical Team Leader will provide an update on best practice and legislation surrounding slips and trips in the work place, the importance of near-miss reporting, and specifying appropriate flooring. He will examine effective preventative measures, identify appropriate footwear and offer employers and employees guidance on how to prevent slips and trips which, as the HSE describes, can ‘shatter lives’.

Colin Hinton of SEMA Technical Committee highlights the challenging role racking protection plays and illustrates the key considerations such as the design, installation and clearances required when utilising rack protectors as physical barriers to damage.

Cantilever racking is used extensively for the storage of long products, typically metal and wood in many industrial, engineering and retail applications. Based upon the association’s updated Code of Practice, SEMA approved inspector Mike Pace will outline some of the safety critical features of this type of storage equipment and the measures users must take to keep cantilever in safe working order.

SEMA Technical Committee’s chair Steve Cowen believes that there is a bewildering amount of choice when commissioning storage racking repairs. He will illustrate SEMA’s best practice approach on maintenance and repair using examples of the ‘the Good, the Bad and the Ugly’.

Craig O’Dea, Troax UK Ltd, will outline a guide to keeping your warehouse safe, compliant and secure by choosing appropriate steel mesh panel systems in a variety of applications. Steel mesh panel systems help meet the demands made by automation and the need for efficiency in materials handling.


Accidents can happen despite a strong safety culture. Stewart Howard, SEMA Approved Inspector, outlines how an effective accidental approach to information gathering, assessment and analysis in the event of an accident or incident can form the basis of prevention in the future.

Richard Heath, Health, Safety and Environment Officer of the Cast Metals Federation, will illustrate how information gleaned from the reporting of accidents and near misses has become a very useful tool in the development of accident reduction programmes as the cast metals industry makes major strides in its mission towards zero harm.

ASDA’s Safety, Health and Environmental Manager Neil Sheehan is to review how the retailer manages its responsibility as an end user and how its interface with the supply chain works seeks to create a safe working environment.

Event chairman and SEMA President Matt Grierson (pictured) said: “If you think safety is expensive, try having an accident. Don’t shatter lives! Every business has a duty to maintain a safe working environment to its employees and subcontractors.

“SEMA’s five groups work together as an organisation committed to promoting and extending the safe design, installation and use of storage equipment manufactured and supplied by our members.

“But as SEMA members, we can only do our best. It’s up to end users and designers to make sure the ‘I’s are dotted and the ‘T’s are crossed on safety enforcement! Themes for our 2015 conference Safety in the Storage Industry: Protecting Your Assets are must for those specifying and utilising storage systems to meet today’s legislation.”

The event starts at 9.30am, includes a buffet lunch and exhibition, and costs £125 + VAT.

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