OSHA Shelving Requirements

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Stacking Materials

OSHA regulations on material handling and storage state companies are required to store materials so that they do not create a hazard, according to BLR, a safety training company in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. Additionally, OSHA regulations require materials to be stacked securely so that they will not slide or collapse. According the OSHA Pocket Guide on Warehouse Safety, employees should stack materials on each shelf evenly and straight.

Material Weight

Shelving must be sturdy and stable enough to hold the desired amount of weight. Never place an item on a shelf that cannot support it. BLR recommends placing heavier items on bottoms shelves, preferably on the floor, and smaller boxes on upper shelves.

Removing Items from Shelves Using a Ladder

OSHA requires employers provide, at minimum, a stable step ladder with hinged back and flat steps for employees to reach items without having to reach over their heads. Ideally, a ladder should be taller than the item you want to reach. You should never stand on the top step of a ladder. Limit the stacking of materials or items above eye level, when possible.


About the Author

Julie Boleware has been writing since 1997. She has been published on the Internet Public Library and various websites. Boleware's interests are in arts and entertainment and business. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Cameron University and a Master of Library and Information Science from Florida State University.

Photo Credits

  • Red books on shelves image by laurent dambies from Fotolia.com