The Ministry of Labour Racking & Storage Inspection Blitz will take place from November 1-30, 2011. Here are some details on the blitz focus to get you prepared.
What is considered racking?
For the purpose of this Blitz, rack and stacking structures are considered to be industrial pallet racks. They are made of cold-formed, hot-rolled steel, wood, aluminum, or concrete structural members.
This Blitz will not focus on shelving where the items are hand placed.
Why the concern?
Pallet racks are commonplace in warehouses, distribution centres, the receiving areas of retail operations, and manufacturing plants. It is important that the hazards associated with installation and use is properly addressed. Typically made of steel, pallet racks often support heavy loads which may collapse and there is potential to severely injure of kill a worker.
There is no specific sector that is the focus of this Blitz. Instead, inspectors will visit workplaces where racking is commonly used (such as warehouses, distribution centres, retail operations and manufacturing plants) based on various risk factors including workplaces:
• Identified as being high-priority due to potential hazards involving racking and storage
• Where complaints have been received
• Where there is a poor compliance history
Focus of blitz
Inspectors will focus on:
Installation and Selection
Inspectors will check that racking and storage systems have been selected and installed to ensure the safety of workers.
Condition, Maintenance and Repair
Inspectors will check that racking and storage systems are properly maintained and repaired.
Use of Racks
Inspectors will check that materials are being loaded and unloaded on pallet racks in a safe manner and that the racks are not being overloaded.
Inspectors will check that appropriate lift tracks are being used for the workplace and tasks required. This includes checking that the trucks’ capacity is sufficient to carry the required loads, and that narrow forklifts are being used for narrow aisles.
Other Related Issues
Inspectors will check that aisles are free of obstructions, lighting is adequate and pallets are in good condition.