With the help of SGS experts, one of the most internationally recognized European retailers has developed an essential and cost-effective in-house racking system inspection program for its operations in Portugal.

Warehouse racking systems require solid, reliable and safe design and regular inspection carried out by an experienced, independent expert. SGS racking system inspection services comprehensively cover warehouse operators needs while maintaining safety standards mandated by international regulations. In-house inspection programs, developed together with SGS specialists, allow internal personnel to conduct continuous on-site inspection in order to ensure the integrity of the racking system between periodic independent audits. SGS is the only independent inspection provider developing in-house inspection capabilities and training internal inspectors to enable its partners to conduct their own on-going inspections.

SGS Racking System Design Assessment

When reviewing a racking system design, SGS specialists consider many aspects to optimize the functionality, reliability and safety of the structures to protect both product and personnel and to provide the highest possible level of productivity. Everyday wear and tear typical to warehouse operations ultimately increases structural stress levels and affects structural integrity and load-bearing capacity rendering racking systems unsafe and accident prone.

In order to determine appropriate racking system design, SGS inspectors analyze relevant factors based on individual procedures and needs. Opportunities to maximize on-hand storage volume require some thought specific to each project. Operators, designers and inspectors must understand the demands placed upon every facility, procedure and system such as access flexibility, whether a system must consider first in, first out (FIFO) or last in, first out (LIFO) environments, picking profiles (the selection of pallets, cases, or pieces) and forklift access. Because pallets types in the global market differ, bottom board and fork pocket location will vary impacting both product storage and forklift driver safety. Additional components may be necessary to mitigate risks associated with these pallet type inconsistencies. Prior to the design or installation of any racking structure, SGS experts apply all relevant local regulations according to facility location and seismic zone. SGS specialists examine project-specific requirements such as warehouse climate, wash-down requirements, health department regulations or individual product handling specifications which dictate the environment of a warehouse and ultimately determine demands placed upon the racking system.

SGS engineers consider all these factors when providing structural design review for, both new and revamped system optimizing and modernizing an already existing structure or repairing damaged structures.

SGS inspectors ensure warehouse operators that everything has been done during the project to minimize the risk of workplace accidents or racking system collapse which can lead to operations being disrupted, products being damaged, injury or loss of life, heavy fines, compensation claims and legal fees, prison sentences or the company going out of business.

SGS Knowledge and Training for In-House Inspection Program

In the Portuguese project, SGS applied European Standards EN 15512, 15620, 1562, 15635 and 15878. Inspectors checked for any structural damage, verified overall structural integrity, reviewed construction documents and utilization instructions, examined ground connections, evaluated damage recording procedures and assisted in the development of an in-house inspection system.

In-house inspections provide the client a cost-efficient opportunity to identify and report problems early and prevent serious accidents, costly damage to products or a catastrophic system collapse.

Together with facility representatives in Portugal, SGS experts selected on-site personnel to be responsible for the in-house racking system inspection program. SGS provided the knowledge and training necessary for in-house inspectors to carry out complete and productive self-examinations. SGS worked to implement an information system comprised of comprehensive recording procedures and swift reporting protocols to enable internal inspectors to pinpoint potential problems and order necessary corrective actions on their own.

SGS inspectors will periodically audit the in-house inspection system to determine system competence, identify risks, offer solutions, evaluate corrective measures taken and analyze the outcome of those actions. Regular SGS support will help to maintain a well-informed and highly-trained in-house inspection team able to perform extremely important on-going self-inspection to ensure the productivity and safety at the facility in Portugal. Although racking system inspection is non-statutory in Portugal, companies are increasingly aware of the value of both periodic independent and continuous in-house inspections in proving structural integrity, protecting key assets and ensuring worker safety.

SGS is extremely pleased to have assisted this distinguished partner and looks forward to offering its unwavering support in the future.

For further information, please contact:

SGS Industrial Services
Eliana Bessada
Business Unit Manager
Industrial and NDT Services
Pólo de Serviços da Maia
Rua Padre António, 232 – Fração 4.4
4470-136 Maia
t: +351 229 994-500
f: +351 229 994-590


SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 75,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,500 offices and laboratories around the world.