Proper stacking in the workplace ensures materials are accessible when needed. Proper stacking keeps stacked materials in good condition. And, most importantly, proper stacking prevents injuries and in some cases, something much worse.
Here are 12 tips to share with workers for stacking such seemingly un-stackable items:
- To prevent stacked materials from falling, collapsing, rolling or sliding, you must plan the stack. Consider the object’s weight, size and shape, and accessibility.
- Keep articles of the same size and weight together.
- Keep heavy and/or unstable items nearer to the floor.
- To increase stability, secure bags and bundles by stacking them in an interlocking pattern or in alternating directions.
- Ensure bags are properly closed, to prevent items from spilling or shifting.
- Place barrels, balls, rolled material and metal bars in racks to prevent them from rolling. If you don’t use racks, stack round items on solid, level surfaces.
- Block and chock bottom tiers of drums, barrels and kegs to prevent rolling or shifting in either direction.
- Band together large cylindrical objects that are stacked vertically.
- If you’re using racks to stack long items, don’t let parts protrude past the end.
- Place planks, sheets of plywood or pallets between tiers to provide a firm and flat surface.
- If materials can’t be stacked due to size, shape or fragility, store them on shelves or in bins.
- Stack only to safe heights.
Improperly stacked materials can result in serious injuries, so take a moment to plan the stack. Remember, you won’t always be around to ensure the stacked load is stable. It must be able to stand on its own.