From racking and shelving inspection
to their repair

What information is important? As a member of the German Association of Storage and Associated Equipment Manufacturers, ELVEDI answers all essential questions its customers may have.

Your warehouse safety is important to us!

We have compiled an overview of the full range of racking and shelving inspections, applicable standards, obligations of the operator of racking and shelving systems, measures to be taken through to rack and shelf repairs.

Mandatory annual inspections for warehouse equipment according to DIN EN 15635

Racks and shelves are work equipment. They are therefore subject to the Ordinance on industrial safety and health (BetrSichV). They must be checked in accordance with § 10 of the BetrSichV by competent persons. The European standard DIN EN 15635 defines the inspection procedure for storage equipment/racking. Storage operators must have a competent person regularly inspect their racking and shelving in accordance with the European standard DIN EN 15635 as well as the Ordinance on industrial safety and health. ELVEDI has racking and shelving inspectors certified by the Association of Storage and Associated Equipment Manufacturers who can annually control the safety of your racking and shelving systems.

Load capacity of the racks/shelves

In today’s digital age, complex computer software calculates the structure of professional racking and shelving for optimal use of storage space. One of the most effective means of saving material is to reduce the thickness of the shelves, i. e. thin-walled metal sheets are given optimal profiles. Even minor damage can reduce the load capacity of shelves. Unstable racking and shelving systems pose an extraordinary risk to humans, machines, and stored goods.

Ordinance on Industrial Safety and Health (BetrSichV)

According to the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Berlin, racks and shelves are work equipment and are therefore subject to the Ordinance on industrial safety and health (BetrSichV). The BetrSichV applies to the provision of shelves by the employer as well as to the use of shelves by the employees. Paragraph 10 of the BetrSichV requires regular inspections of storage equipment. Type, scope and deadlines of the necessary inspections must be determined for the racks and shelves according to § 3.   Inspection scope and procedure for racks and shelves are described in the European standard DIN EN 15635. The standard is valid since 2009 and was published by the Beuth-Verlag.

OHS responsibility

According to the Ordinance on industrial safety and health, the employer is responsible for the safety of storage equipment. An inspection of racks and shelves must be carried out at least every 12 months by a competent person.

Standardised European inspection requirement

Already since 1988, the regulation of the employers' liability insurance association stipulates the following obligation:

“[...] Defects to storage equipment, which may endanger insured persons, must be immediately and appropriately remedied.”

Neither the old version ZH 1/428 nor the new edition of the BGR 234 specifies when a defect exists. At European level, the standard DIN EN 15635 was compiled.

Responsibility lies with the employer

The employer is obliged to systematically and regularly inspect all warehouse equipment – i.e. mobile and static racking and shelving. If the manufacturer does not stipulate more stringent inspections on the basis of the rack design or the operating conditions, the provisions of the DIN EN 15635 standard must be observed:

  • Immediate notification of the safety officer when damage is detected
  •  Regular inspections
  • Compilation of a written report which must be retained
  • Inspection by a competent person at least every 12 months
  • Determination of the cause when damages occur repeatedly
  • EinIntroduction of a damage control procedure 

Certified racking and shelving inspectors

A qualified inspection requires a high level of expertise. Certified racking and shelving inspectors have the necessary specialist knowledge.

Insights into the structural racking analysis

The annual inspection of racks and shelves must be performed by a competent person. Competent means that the inspector is familiar with the laws, regulations, rules of the trade associations and European standards that apply specifically to racking and shelving, e.g. DIN EN 15512, DIN EN 15620, DIN EN 15629, DIN EN 15635, DIN EN 15878. In addition, specialised knowledge of the specific racking and shelving is necessary. For a qualified inspection, it is imperative that the inspector has access to the structural racking analysis. The German Association of Storage and Associated Equipment Manufacturers and its members compiled a checklist to ensure optimal racking and shelving inspection.

Multi-day training

The renowned and throughout Europe recognized ISIB testing institute Dr. Möll in Darmstadt trains racking and shelving inspectors in a course that runs over several days. The practice-oriented course is given by a competent team of trainers. At the end of the training, the participants complete a final exam before they acquire the title “Certified racking and shelving inspector”. They receive a certificate and an official identity card.

Safety and efficiency for storage equipment/racking

Racking and shelving systems subject to inspection 

  • Shelving racks
  • Pallet racking
  • Cantilever racking
  • Einfahrregale
  • Drive-in racking
  • Drive-through racking
  • Flow racking 
  • Multi-storey installations

The inspection is carried out during ongoing operation. The racking and shelving inspector performs visual inspections and checks, amongst others, whether the protective measures, the shelf components and the loads comply with provisions. The inspection is carried out systematically on the basis of a standardised inspection protocol. The results of the inspection are then logged. If damages are detected at an early stage, many serious accidents can be avoided and repair costs can usually be kept low. Since an in-depth analysis of the damage often reveals its causes, corresponding preventive measures can be initiated subsequently. Examples from other European countries, such as Great Britain or the Netherlands, where such inspections have been taking place for many years, show that safety has increased while repair costs have been saved.

Measures to be taken in case of damage

The racking and shelving inspection has taken place. Were damages found on your racking and shelving systems? If that is the case, measures must be taken to remedy them. What exactly needs to be done and whether a repair is necessary depends on the danger level – classification in the inspection protocol. The DIN EN 15635 specifies which measures need to be taken according to the danger level:

Green level
Requiring surveillance only. The damage has no influence on the load capacity stated on the nameplate. The components must be identified accordingly and checked during the following inspection.

Amber risk
Hazardous damage requiring action as soon as possible. The damage to the component needs to be fixed. However, immediate action is not required. If a damaged component has been relieved, repairs must only be carried out before it is loaded again.

Red risk
Very serious damage requiring immediate action. This classification level refers to damages that significantly affect the load capacities of the components. There is thus an urgent need to repair or replace the affected components.

How are repairs carried out

DIN 15635 stipulates :
“[...] .. Damaged components should not be repaired but completely replaced. : [...]”

and chapter 9.7.1 states:

: “[...] . Repairs to damaged components shall not be allowed unless approved by the equipment supplier: [...]”

The racking column is the most important component

Bulging or other similar methods usually make the damage worse. Damaged rack columns must be replaced.

Damaged crossbars must also always be replaced.

Repairs that have not been agreed with the manufacturer can be fatal!


Original parts must be used to avoid risks during repairs of racks and shelves and protect those carrying out the repairs. Continuous training of the operator and proper handling of the storage system help prevent damages and avoid repair costs.

You would like us to carry out a racking inspection on your installation? ELVEDI offers this service at a fixed price. Use our contact form to request a quotation……