Monday, August 18, 2014

How Do You Stack Up?


It does not matter whether you work in a lumber yard, hospital, or fast food restaurant; it is likely that your job will require you to stack items from time to time. Having your inventory neatly organized is an essential component to creating a safe work environment. 
  • Look for labels on boxes that indicate which side should face up, whether the items inside are fragile, and if additional items can be placed on top of this box. It is also likely the box will have safety labels for heavy items or if it requires a team lift. Always make sure important information printed on your boxes is visible once your items are stacked. You can waste a lot of time and energy looking for a single item if labels are not clearly visible.
  • Never stack boxes near aisles or walkways. Employees or customers could inadvertently bump a supporting box cause an unstable stack to tumble over.
  • All cylindrical items such as pipes, barrels, or kegs should be stacked in racks or be blocked on a level surface to prevent them cylinders from rolling. Use a pyramid style of stacking method for cylinders once your bottom layer is in place.
  • Never stack boxes above your head unless the load is supported by shelving. Lumber should never be stacked more than 16 feet high. 
  • The heaviest boxes should always be placed near the bottom. When stacking boxes make sure that the entire load of the box is supported by a flat uniform base. There should never be a box that hangs over the edge when stacking on a pallet. 
  • The integrity of cardboard box can be greatly diminished after only a few uses. If you are reusing a box be sure that it can support the load that you are stacking on top of it. A Box with holes, creases in the side walls, or crushed corners is a good indication that it is time to send it to the recycling bin. 
  • If your stack looks unstable try to wiggle it. If the stack starts to sway or becomes unstable it is time to rearrange your boxes.
Following these simple guidelines will ensure that your inventory, employees, and customers stay safe. It will also create a more efficient and professional looking work area.  

Thank you for your time and attention.  Let’s make it safe this Monday.

Brad Lindemann
Sales Coordinator, Lift’n Buddy, a Southworth Company 

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