Many serious and sometimes fatal injuries occur every year when something falls onto a worker.
It is essential that precautions are taken to avoid such incidents.
Undertaking a risk assessment for all stacking and unstacking activities within the workplace, including control measures for how items at height should be safely accessed without disturbing the balance or stability of the pile, should help to identify and reduce risks. You should develop a safe system of work for stacking by determining a safe maximum height for stacked items and regularly check that this is not exceeded.
Giving staff training on the correct stacking procedure and informing them of your systems will also reduce risks. Training will include providing your staff with knowledge of best practices. Ensure they know that any unstable items should be placed with a gentle backwards slope at the top to help prevent them falling. Another great tip is to tie unstable items together to help create a more stable pile. Ensure that they always check pallets to make sure they are not broken or damaged in any way. They should also make sure any pallets used are suitable for the type and weight of the items they are holding.
Someone should also be tasked with regularly checking racking to ensure it is stable, and that the fixings are holding it to the wall/floor correctly. Racking can deteriorate over time so it is vital to include it as part of your regular workplace inspection.
Lastly make sure you have a plan in place to deal with unforeseen situations such as falls or unstable stock. Prevent any workplace vehicles from knocking into stored items by putting up barriers.
If you need any help with risk assessments or hazard control visit www.walkersafety.co.uk