OSHA Overview: Materials Handling and Storage

Because the way in which materials are handled and stored in the workplace can be hazardous, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides regulations on the proper way to do so.  From hoisting steel with a crane to driving a truck full of bricks to stacking barrels and lumber, the efficient handling of materials is vital to the manufacturing industry.  Make sure your workplace is up to par by ensuring you’ve implemented the below standards.

Using mechanical equipment.

According to Section 1910.176 of the occupational safety and health standards, any time mechanical handling equipment is used, sufficient safe clearances must be allowed for aisles, around loading docks, through doorways, and any where else turns of passage must be made.  All pathways must be kept clear and orderly, and free of any obstruction that could create a potential tripping hazard.  Permanent hallways or aisles must be well marked.

Storing equipment.

Storage of material should be secure and not create a hazard.  Bags or containers that are to be stored in tiers must be stacked, interlocked, and blocked so there is not chance of sliding or collapse.  Stacks must be kept at an appropriate height so they don’t topple over.  Storage areas should be free of clutter and material that constitute hazards like tripping, fire, or explosion.


Clearance signs that indicate the maximum height or width of a passage must be posted.  In the case of pits or ditches, guardrails should be present and warning signs posted.

By following OSHA regulations, you will minimize the risk of hazards in the workplace and create a more efficient/productive work environment.

At MAC Incorporated, we put the health and safety of our employees first.  Since we’re a niche-based recruiting and staffing firm, specializing in the placement of engineering, maintenance, and operations management professionals, we understand the crucial role human beings play in the rate and quality of production output as well as the overall efficiency of asset utilization.  Check out our blog to stay up to date on the latest OSHA regulations or contact us today to see how we can provide customized staffing solutions for your organization.