8 Tips for Safe Materials Stacking


It’s important to ensure that you properly stack and store materials in your workplace so that they don’t endanger workers. For example, unstable stacks could collapse onto workers. And piles that block sprinklers can pose a fire hazard.

Naturally, you must comply with the requirements for safely storing materials in your jurisdiction’s OHS regulations, both when storing materials on racks or in piles/stacks. But here are eight general tips for safe stacking:

  1. Ensure that materials aren’t stacked so high that they’re in danger of toppling over or collapsing.
  2. Store heavy and unstable items as low as possible to the floor.
  3. Ensure that loads are properly secured against movement on pallets and that pallets are in good condition and the appropriate size and type for the load.
  4. Where possible, try to stack articles of the same size and weight together.
  5. When stacking bags or bundles of material, alternate rows. For example, place one row running lengthwise, the next running widthwise, the third lengthwise, etc.
  6. Ensure there’s adequate space to allow workers, forklifts and other lifting devices to navigate the workplace safely and efficiently.
  7. Block or chock the bottom tiers of round items so that they don’t shift or roll.
  8. Ensure that materials aren’t stacked so high that they block sprinklers, could come into contact with ignition sources or are near energized electrical wires.

Go to SafetySmart for a safety talk on safe stacking of mismatched items that you can show workers.