For storage and shipping businesses, ensuring that no injury happens to workers on duty is crucial. This is why many business owners take preventive steps and make sure that they maintain a safety code to avoid accidents. However, many overlook the importance of safety and don’t pay attention to workers’ safety.

To avoid workplace accidents, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has mandated commercial and industrial setups to obey certain regulations such as installing OSHA compliant racks or more. Failing to do so results in penalization.

If you own a shipping or storage business, here are the two primary federal OSHA storage rack regulations applicable to storage racks that you must be aware of:

  • 1910.176(b), commands that stored items must be secured. This regulation, however, doesn’t specifically address racking; rather, it’s a general stacking requisite, to keep materials from falling over or collapsing at the site.
  • 1910.159, states that the height of any storage item should be in relation to fire sprinklers. There must be at least 18 inches difference between the top of the racked item and the sprinklers.

General duty clause

For most racking problems, OSHA storage rack regulations utilize the General Duty Clause of the OSHA Act, which holds employers/owners responsible for protecting their workers from serious hazards. It refers to the equipment/machine manufacturer’s installation and maintenance instructions.


After the two primary OSHA storage rack regulations, these are the three racking issues that OSHA often brings to attention under the General Duty Clause

  • For rack columns that are not anchored to the floor: OSHA advises that the bottom of all columns must be furnished with base plates, and should be attached to the floor with anchor bolts which are able to resist the weight of the loads on the rack.
  • For load ratings not mentioned on racking: OSHA states that load ratings must be present with maximum uniformly distributed load per level and/or maximum permissible unit load and the maximum total load per bay or the average unit load.
  • For damaged racking: OSHA recommends that the employer/owner creates a maintenance and inspection program for racks. The program must comprise keeping aisles clear and offering enough clearance for material handling equipment. Also, it commands to ensure proper rack alignment, installation of OSHA complaint racks. Moreover, employees should immediately report any damage to racks.

In a nutshell

If you own a storage business, make sure you follow OSHA storage rack regulations meticulously and keep your premise and workers safe.


Author’s bio: The author is a blogger and this article is about OSHA storage rack regulations.

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