Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

1.16. Specific health and safety requirements pertaining to stacking and storage of materials

ryanrori February 8, 2021

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Organising and storage of office materials are essential for avoiding material storage problems whether on a temporary or permanent basis. 

This will lead to fewer strain injuries if the amount of handling is reduced, especially if less manual materials handling is required. 

Stock should not interfere but be readily available when there should at least be one metre of clear space between stockpiles and sprinkler heads. 

Cartons and drums must be packed on a firm foundation and cross tying them reduces the chance of their movement. 

Materials should not obstruct aisles, stairs, exits, fire equipment, emergency eyewash fountains, emergency showers, or first aid stations. All storage areas should be clearly marked. 

Flammable, combustible, toxic and other hazardous materials should be stored in approved containers in designated areas that are appropriate for the different hazards that they pose. Storage of materials should meet all requirements specified in the fire codes and the regulations of environmental and occupational health and safety agencies in your jurisdiction. 


Specific health and safety requirements are:

  • Material should be neatly stacked on stable, level bases that are capable of carrying the weight of the stack as shown on racking.
  • Racks should not be overloaded. Any indication of overloading or stress in racks and shelves e.g. sagging, cracks or buckling must be reported, the items immediately removed and the shelf or rack repaired or discarded
  • Heavy items that are manually handled must be stored at a low height to minimise damage associated with a potential fall. Access should be provided that allows for removal of items by use of mechanical aids.
  • Stepladders or similar approved means should be used for safe access to storage areas that are above the user’s shoulder height.
  • Storage of items on the top of cabinets or other furniture and fittings not specifically designed for storage is not permitted
  • Chemicals, including gas cylinders or materials that could react with or contaminate one another, shall be stored separately.