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Safe use of racking in stores

Safety Alert
8 November 2019

SafeWork SA are investigating an incident where large length of 3 meter high racking used to display goods for sale collapsed.

With Christmas approaching, businesses may increase stock levels to accommodate the high demand for goods.

SafeWork SA reminds business owners to assess where existing and additional stock may be safely stored or displayed, without posing a risk to staff and customers.

Ensure racking is installed and maintained according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Please ensure that for any racking you:

  1. Choose a shelving system that is suited to the goods that you need to store or display.
  2. Ensure the placement of racking does not prevent easy access to fire exits, firefighting provisions or doorways.
  3. Ensure the floor being used is capable of supporting a fully loaded shelving system.
  4. Ensure racking is adequately anchored to eliminate movement.
  5. Display safety signs at the end of every rack to show the safe working load (SWL) or maximum shelf capacity.
  6. Use racking protection posts where appropriate to guard against accidental collisions that may weaken the racking structure.
  7. Evenly distribute the goods across the racking,loading lower shelves first.
  8. Keep a large enough aisle width to allow easy access with handling equipment such as fork-lift trucks, pallet trucks and customer trolleys
  9. Do not let boxes or items overhang the shelves - this reduces the risk of falling goods.
  10. Ensure that all posts, beams and supports are installed correctly and locked in place (as per the assembly instructions) before use.
  11. Have shelving & racking systems inspected by a professional on a regular basis by a competent person to ensure they are maintained in a safe condition.

Further information is available on our racking page or refer to AS 4084: Steel storage racking.