Stacking and storing materials on pallets or shelves must be done with a solid plan for warehouse safety. If not, workers could be crushed and pinned or otherwise injured.
Layer materials on pallets based on shape. Layer styles include block, brick, pinwheel, irregular shapes, tapered, and cylindrical. This podcast details these layers.
Avoid stacking against walls so pests won’t have a new home. If items are to be lifted manually by workers, store between knee and shoulder heights for good ergonomics. Floor markings should be considered to denote pallet and stack locations.
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Dan Clark: It’s a giant game of Jenga when pallets are stacked in the warehouse. But, in this case, if the tower falls, people can get hurt.
Hello, I’m Dan Clark of The Safety Brief. This is where we talk about health and safety hazards in today’s demanding industrial and construction worksites.
Stacking and storing without a plan can cause crushing and pinning injuries, trip and fall hazards, and even pest problems. Use these storing and stacking guidelines to avoid accidents in your facility.
Prevent collapsing loads. Consider the weight of the stack. Whether it’s on shelves or freestanding, place the heavy materials closer to the ground. Consider the height of a stack. There are height limits for certain things. Lumber that has to be handled manually can’t be stacked more than 16 feet high. There are many other examples.
Use appropriate stacking methods for the layers of a pallet:
- BLOCK. Stack square items in a cube and then secure them with straps, shrink wrap or wire.
- BRICK. Turn each level of a stack 90°.
- PINWHEEL. Turn each quadrant of items 90°. This gives you extra security.
- IRREGULAR SHAPES. If you have bags of concrete or other odd shaped items, use sheets of plywood or another sturdy material between the layers.
- TAPERED STACKING. Something like a pyramid, it’s used for odd shaped materials like bags or piles of bricks taller than 7 feet.
- CYLINDRICAL MATERIALS. Big, round pipes, sections of culvert, things like that. Block the sides so they don’t roll.
* Don’t put stacks too close to the walls. When combined with poor housekeeping, this can lead to pest problems.
* Store heavy items between knee and shoulder height. If workers need to lift them, this allows ergonomic lifting.
* Use floor marking shapes to show where pallets and stacks should be placed.
* Use tape or a label to mark the maximum height of a pile so workers don’t accidentally make it too tall—a dangerous Jenga tower.
That’s it for this episode on Stacking And Storing For Warehouse Safety. Come back for more tips and techniques on how to stay safety compliant in today’s ever-changing landscape of safety requirements. I’m Dan Clark of The Safety Brief, sponsored by Creative Safety Supply. See the website at creativesafetysupply.com
stacking image provided by The State Of Washington