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July 22, 2022


Industrial Shelving Basics for Health & Safety

Industrial Shelving Basics for Health and Safety blog banner

Large industrial shelving structures are used in warehouses, storage facilities and distribution centres to store large stock and goods. They are space-efficient, durable, cost-effective and provide secure storage for delicate or fragile items. 

Industrial shelving structures are typically available in heights, widths, and depths. Therefore, choosing the most suitable shelving system for your company's needs is essential for maximising the benefits of your new storage system. However, ensuring proper installation of industrial shelving is necessary. 

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), businesses that store goods and materials must consider the hazards that they may cause. Therefore, the first step is to conduct a storage risk assessment to help identify the dangers caused by their storage of goods, analyse the likelihood of their occurring and determine who and what may be at risk.  

Once the risk assessment has been completed, precautions must be taken to minimise those risks. 

First and foremost, the new racking system must be installed according to the manufacturer's assembly guidelines. These typically include the following points: 

  • Build and locate racking on level floors which can withstand the overall intended loads 
  • Where shelving or racking needs to be fixed to a wall, ensure the wall itself can support the load 
  • Connect double-sided runs with compatible run spacers 
  • Use anchor feet and fixings to secure the racking to the floor, especially when lifting equipment such as forklifts and pallet stackers will be in use. 
  • Where appropriate, special safety ladders must be provided to avoid people climbing on the shelving unit 
  • All racking and shelving should have clear signage stating its maximum load capacities, ensuring no room for misinterpretation. 
  • Items are stacked correctly – place the heaviest at the bottom where possible. 
  • Check shelving and racking units regularly for any apparent physical or chemical damage signs. 

Every warehouse, storage facility, and distribution centre using industrial shelving must maintain a health and safety checklist. It ensures a solid framework within which staff should operate.  

The only way an employer can make their premises less prone to accidents is through a comprehensive assessment and production of a safety program that helps identify any risks in the work environment and how best to reduce them. 

We hope you found this article both helpful and informative. For more information on our shelving and racking systems, please give our team a call today at 0333 999 7171, email us at info@stripcurtainsdirect.co.uk or visit our website at stripcurtainsdirect.co.uk