Racking Compliance

Inspections, Compliance, & Safety in the warehouse.
June 16, 2021 by
Racking Compliance
Philip Marano


Racking and Storage Safety

Safe At Work Ontario

Disclaimer: This resource has been prepared to help the workplace parties understand some of their obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and regulations. It is not legal advice. It is not intended to replace the OHSA or the regulations.  

Workplaces with racking and storage facilities may contain potentially serious hazards. The improper use, selection and installation, or maintenance of racking and storage systems may put workers at risk of injury. 

Throughout November 2011, the Ministry of Labour will focus on racking and storage facilities used by workers at industrial workplaces across Ontario. The stepped-up enforcement is part of the ministry's Safe At Work Ontario strategy, launched in June 2008.

Ministry of Labour inspectors will check whether the required precautions are being met by all who work in and around racking systems, as specified in the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and the Regulations for Industrial Establishments (R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 851).

Compliance: priority areas

Inspectors will focus on the following key priorities:

Installation and selection

Employers should determine whether they need to conduct a Pre-Start Health and Safety Review (PSR). [Reg. 851, section 7].

PSR is not required when the employer has documentation showing that the rack has been designed and tested in accordance with the current applicable standards [Reg. 851, subsection 7(7)].

Condition, maintenance and repair

The OHSA requires the employer to ensure that the equipment it provides is maintained in good condition. Racks must be maintained in good condition by replacing/repairing damaged components of a racking system [OHSA, clause 25(1)(b)].

Use of racks

Employers must ensure lift trucks are being driven and products are being loaded and unloaded on pallet racks in a safe manner. 

Employers must ensure that workers are provided with information, instruction and supervision to protect the health and safety of the worker [OHSA, clause 25(2)(a)].

Employers should consider providing worker training on:

  • manufacturers' loading recommendations
  • procedures to report racking damage
  • safe operation of mobile equipment in and around racking (i.e., forklift, pallet trucks)
  • regular daily inspection/observation of racks, and
  • any additional information relevant to their racking system

Other related issues

Employers should ensure:

  • aisles are free of obstructions
  • lighting is adequate
  • pallets are in good condition

Employers must also ensure that:

  • a floor used by any worker is free of obstructions and hazards [Reg. 851, subparagraphs 11(a)(i)(ii)]
  • artificial lighting is provided where natural lighting is inadequate to ensure the workers' safety [Reg. 851, section 21)]
  • equipment such as pallets are maintained in good condition [OHSA, clause 25(1)(b)]

REF: https://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/sawo/pubs/fs_rackingstorage.php


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