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Material Storage Rack Compliance

Material Storage Rack Compliance

Material Storage Rack Compliance

I've recently been assigned "Safety Coordinator" as one of my "hats".  Our first survey yielded this problem (among others)

Does OSHA have a specific description saying how any storage racks have to be installed?  I've surfed their site and others for far too long now.  It's time for help.

We have racks about 12 feet high.  We have stored items weighing 800 lb. and above on the top shelf.  My opinion is that they should be bolted together and bolted to the floor.  Myself and others here thought that was "OSHA Spec".  Where would I find that?

Another person thought that having working areas on the other (open side) of the racks was a violation.  That certainly sounds reasonable, but where does it say that?

The owner of the company wants to see what the "OSHA Specs" says.  Anybody know where to find this information?

Thanks for any help you can lend, Dave (the Machine Tooler)

RE: Material Storage Rack Compliance


There is no OSHA standard specific to storage racks.  They would use the general duty clause if they found a situation that was a serious hazard to the workers.  I would also tell you that they refer back to the manufacturers installation directions to see if the employer has installed them and maintained them per manaufactures specification.  You mentioned weight  in your psosting and this is one of the firts things they will look at...has the employer exceeded the weight capacity of the rack(s); keeping in mind that the weight limits are based on racks that have been installed per design and have not been damaged.  Basic safety tells us to store the more hazardous materials and heavier obkects as close to ground level as we can.  A few weeks ago, I sent out a "Storage Rack Safety Alert" regarding a company that lost it's business because a repair company sent an unquailifed welder to make repairs.  The rack collapsed and caused a major fire, killing one employee and destroying the companies warehouse and over $10 million in inventory.

Hope this helps.

Bryan Haywood

RE: Material Storage Rack Compliance

SAFENG is entirely correct on the storage racks.  I would add you need the manufacturers specification on anchoring also such as together, to the wall, to the floor, etc.  OSHA could use the manufacturer specs as well as scaffold construction and anchoring requirements as the source for citations and use the General Duty Clause.  These address height and width stability issues.

As to working on the back side, OSHA does address this under the falling material standard that applies to General Industry as well as Construction.  If there is ANY chance of falling material, debris, tools, plus low clearance, etc. hard had protection is required.  So, it most likely would be prefered to put a backing on the storage racks to keep anything from falling off.

You can do searches on the entire OHSA regualtions at their website.

PS besides OSHA issues, anchoring and bolting the racks togther will increase their use since they will less likely to walk or collapse when pushed by the fork lift and other mechanical abuses.

RE: Material Storage Rack Compliance


If you follow this link,


you will get a wealthy of quality info about storage rack safety.  SAFTENG.net and WORKSAFE Victoria are "Partners in Safety" and we like to team up and share quality safety info around the world.  They are in Australia, and some of the specific rules may be different.  However, this document does and excellent job demonstrating how we should be managing our storage racks with out the fear of an OSHA visit.  Hope this helps.


RE: Material Storage Rack Compliance

hi, sorta new to this so bear with me, If you will go to WWW.osha.gov ,go to standards, click on general standards and then go to  Regulations (Standards - 29 CFR) - Table of Contents
• Part Number: 1926
• Part Title: Safety and Health Regulations for Construction
• Subpart: H
• Subpart Title: Materials Handling, Storage, Use, and Disposal
• Standard Number: 1926.250
• Title: General requirements for storage.
I hope this helps

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