(ENG) New Requirements for Storage Rack Safety in British Columbia

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A new section, Storage Racks, has been added to the B.C. Occupational Health and Safety Regulation (OHSR). Until now there were no specific requirements in OHSR for rack safety. The new section will help employers and WorkSafeBC officers with consistent standards for enforcing safe storage rack requirements. The regulation will come into effect on January 1, 2018.

The new requirements apply to steel storage racks of various sizes and shapes; for example, pallet racks, cantilever racks, drive-in racks, drive-through racks, and pushback racks.

The new requirements do not apply to

  • Racks made of materials other than steel.
  • Display fixtures and shelving typically found in retail areas of businesses. However, the new requirements do apply to steel storage racks on the retail floor of some businesses, such as Costco warehouses, Rona, Home Depot, and other similar stores selling tiles and carpets, where customers select items off pallets on or around the storage racks.
  • Storage racks under 2.4 m (8 feet) except if materials and products are loaded on or unloaded off the storage rack by other than manual means, such as forklifts, mobile equipment, conveyors, automated systems, mechanical lifts, or other mechanical equipment, due to the increased risk to workers.

In accordance with the new requirements, the employer must ensure

  • The rack can safely support the items stored on it, is designed and constructed in accordance with good engineering practices, and is used in accordance with the specifications and instructions of the manufacturer or a professional engineer.
  • The instructions for safely loading, unloading, and maintaining the storage rack are obtained from the manufacturer or a professional engineer and are readily available to workers.
  • Only a qualified person installs and uninstalls the storage rack (in whole or in part) in accordance with the instructions of the manufacturer or a professional engineer.
  • The rated capacity of the storage rack is posted near the storage rack and visible to workers.
  • Any structural modification, including reconfiguration of the storage rack, is carried out in accordance with the specifications of the manufacturer or a professional engineer.
  • A qualified person regularly inspects the storage rack for wear, corrosion, damage, missing or incompatible parts, and signs of fatigue, and provides a record of the results.
  • Regular maintenance is done, and wear, corrosion, damage, missing or incompatible parts, and signs of fatigue are repaired or replaced in accordance with the specifications and instructions of the manufacturer or a professional engineer.

To share knowledge on rack safety best practices, Nimonik conducted a webinar with Lead Rack Inspectors, Tony Mulholland and Brian Rusciolelli, in November 2016. The presentation discusses how to inspect racks, respond to failures, and ensure racks are not overloaded.

Rack Safety and Compliance Webinar Recording

Nimonik is always happy to help businesses big and small comply with regulations. Feel free to contact us info@nimonik.com or 1-888-608-7511. We are friendly and always available.