Racking Collapses

Quy Mill Hotel, Cambridge
Tuesday, 10 January 2017
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
    • Gareth Dobinson, Chartered Engineer, Hawkins

Gareth Dobinson studied at Loughborough University where he obtained an MEng in Mechanical Engineering and has since achieved Chartered Engineer status from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Gareth joined Hawkins, forensic engineers, in 2011 and specialises in the investigation of fires, engineering failures, personal injuries and fraud. He has undertaken many forensic investigations of fires in industrial and commercial premises and in vehicles and heavy machinery. He has also investigated mechanical engineering failures such as racking collapses and those leading to escapes of water / oil, component failures and personal injuries. Gareth has investigated racking collapses in the UK, Europe, South America and Asia.


Modern logistical requirements have driven companies to store as much stock as possible in the minimum amount of space. Warehouses are now designed with high-rise racking, which is made out of the least material possible and where minimum aisle widths are the norm.

These changes have resulted in racking structures that are more susceptible to collapse due to their optimised design, likely installation deviations and external factors, such as contact by forklift trucks. This has resulted in larger scale collapses rather than localised damage, due to the proximity of the racks.

This presentation will look at the common causes of racking collapses, how collapses are investigated and what precautions can be taken to minimise the likelihood of a collapse.

Three learning points:

  • Common causes of racking collapses
  • How are collapses investigated
  • What precautions can be taken to minimise the likelihood of a collapse

  • Church Road
  • Stow cum Quy
  • Cambridge
  • CB25 9AF
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