Proper storage of materials on pallets is crucial to prevent accidents, injuries, and property damage in the workplace. Here are several safety tips for safely storing materials on pallets:
- Inspect Pallets: Before loading a pallet, inspect it for damage such as broken boards or
protruding nails. Damaged pallets should be repaired before use or taken out of service.
- Select the Right Pallet: Choose pallets that are appropriate for the size and weight of the
materials they will be holding.
- Stack Materials Evenly: Distribute the weight of the materials evenly across the pallet to
maintain stability and prevent tipping.
- Interlock Bagged Materials: Bagged materials should be stacked by stepping back the layers
and cross-keying the bags at least every 10 bags high to prevent sliding, falling or collapse.
- Avoid Overhang: Do not allow materials to overhang the edges of the pallet, as this can
create an unbalanced load and increase the risk of falling objects.
- Secure Materials: Use appropriate methods to secure materials to the pallet, such as shrink
wrap, strapping, or banding to prevent shifting or falling during storage or transport.
- Flat and Level Surface: Place pallets on a flat and level surface to ensure stability and prevent
tipping or sliding.
- Aisle Clearances: Maintain clear aisles and passageways around pallets for easy access and
safe material handling.
- Keep Doorways Clear: Never block doorways with pallets or other stored materials, even
temporarily. Emergency exits must always remain free of obstructions.
- Weight Limitation: Do not exceed the weight capacity of storage shelves or platforms. These
are typically labeled with their weight capacity, and this limit should never be exceeded.
- Maintain Adequate Overhead Clearance: The minimum vertical clearance between
sprinklers and material stored below shall be 18 inches minimum, to prevent the stored material from interfering with the spray of water from a sprinkler head during a fire.
By following these safety tips, employers and workers can minimize the risks associated with
storing and transporting materials on pallets, promote workplace safety, and prevent accidents.