Maximum safe load limits of floors within buildings and structures (usually in pounds per square foot) should be conspicuously posted in all storage areas, except for floor or slab on grade.
All working surfaces should be kept clear of obstructions and tripping hazards. Materials in excess of supplies needed for immediate operations should not be stored in aisles or passageways. Aisles and passageways should be kept clear to provide for the free and safe movement of material handling equipment or employees. Allow sufficient clearance for aisles at docks, doorways, and other parts of the workplace. Sufficient clearance will prevent workers from being pinned between equipment and fixtures. Sufficient clearance will also prevent loads from striking obstructions and falling on employees.
When a difference in road or working levels exist, means such as ramps, blocking, or grading should be used to ensure the safe movement of vehicles between the two levels.
Bags and bundles should be stacked in interlocking rows to remain secure. Bagged material should be stacked by stepping back the layers and cross-keying the bags at least every ten layers. To remove bags from the stack, start from the top row first.
Boxed materials should be banded or held in place using cross-ties or shrink plastic fiber.
Drums, barrels, and kegs should be stacked symmetrically. If stored on their sides, the bottom tiers should be blocked/chocked to keep them from rolling or shifting in either direction. When stacked on end, put planks, sheets of plywood dunnage, or pallets between each tier to make a firm, flat stacking surface.
When stacking, consider the importance of ready availability for the particular material. Material that can’t be stacked due to size, shape, or fragility can be safely stored on shelves or in bins. Structural steel, bar stock, poles, and other cylindrical materials, unless in racks, should be stacked and blocked to prevent spreading or tilting. Pipes and bars should not be stored in racks that face main aisles; this could create a hazard to passers-by when removing supplies.