Storage racks, such as common pallet racks, are used in many industries and in workplaces such as distribution centres, warehouses, manufacturing plants, and the storage areas of retail operations.
Moving materials on and off storage racks, either manually or using mobile equipment, puts workers at greater risk of injury due to slips, trips, and falls; overexertion; and being struck by falling objects.
There are additional risks if the racks are not properly installed, inspected, used, or maintained. The racks themselves can then be a hazard if they become unstable or collapse, thus increasing the risk of injury to workers.
Factors that can increase the risk of injury include:
- Poor maintenance (resulting in deterioration)
- Unsafe loading practices
See our resources for information on working safely around storage racks.
Note: On January 1, 2018, new regulations came into effect governing the installation, inspection, use, and maintenance of steel storage racks. An OHS guideline was issued to accompany the regulations. A number of resources are available, below, to help you understand and implement the new regulation, including frequently asked questions, an explanatory primer, and a pallet rack inspection checklist..