Safety First: Correct Stacking Isn’t an Option…It’s a Priority

Working in a warehouse is extremely rewarding, but it can also be hazardous. Whether you’re a candidate searching for jobs hiring in Bethlehem, PA, or an employer ready to fill open positions, safety must always come first.

Properly stacking materials is a huge part of that. If correct protocols aren’t followed, objects can fall onto workers and crush or pin them. These injuries can be very serious — even deadly.

Here’s an overview of stacking guidelines created by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, to keep your team safe and healthy.

7 Stacking Safeguards for Warehouse Workers

  • Lumber handled manually should be stacked no more than 16 feet high, rising to a maximum of 20 feet high if a forklift is used.
  • Remove nails from used lumber prior to stacking.
  • Use solidly supported bracing to stack and level lumber.
  • Make sure stacks are stable and can support themselves.
  • Avoid storing pipes and bars in racks that face main aisles, as this can be hazardous to people walking by when removing supplies.
  • Use interlocking rows to secure stacks of bags and bundles.
  • Step back the layers, and cross-key bagged material at least every 10 layers. Start from the top row first when removing bags from the stack.

11 Additional Safety Protocols to Use When Stacking

  • Keep baled paper and rags inside a building at least 18 inches from walls, partitions, and sprinkler heads.
  • Secure boxed materials by banding, with cross-ties or using shrink plastic fiber.
  • Drums, barrels, and keys should always be stacked symmetrically.
  • Keep drums, barrels, and kegs from rolling on their sides by blocking their bottom tiers.
  • When stacking drums, barrels, and kegs on end, use planks, sheets of plywood dunnage, or pallets between each tier to create a firm and flat surface.
  • Avoid shifting when stacking two or more tiers by chocking the bottom tier of drums, barrels, and kegs on each side.
  • Prevent spreading and/or tilting by stacking and blocking poles, structural steel, bar stock, and other cylindrical materials — unless they’re stored in racks.
  • Paint walls and posts with stripes to allow quick reference of maximum stacking heights.
  • Always follow height restrictions when stacking materials.
  • Keep availability of the material in mind when stacking.
  • Loose bricks should never be stacked more than 7 feet high.

Searching for a rewarding warehouse job? Need talented workers for your warehouse? HTSS, Inc. is here to connect talented workers with top Lehigh Valley area employers. Contact us today to find out what we can do for you!

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