Your vertical steel rack supplier can make storage safer

Steel is a common material used by British manufacturers. Handled and stored correctly, it is a very safe form of metal, but every year there are serious accidents that happen when steel is badly stored and handled. Vertical lengths of steel perhaps are the greatest risk of injury. They are heavy and can easily fall over if not stored correctly in a vertical steel rack.

Assessing and reducing risk

The main legal duties of a business are to conform to the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act (1974) which requires all companies to do what is “reasonably practicable” to minimise accident risks.

Before implementing safety procedures there needs to be a risk assessment that identifies what measures need to be taken to minimise risk. Start with the most likely risks, these being the accidents with steel that are most likely to happen. As part of the risk assessment process, employees should be consulted, and they often notice issues missed by management.

Common accident causes need to be identified. Examples of these are:

• Workers being crushed by stock that is being moved, loaded or unloaded
• Being struck by lifting equipment
• Musculoskeletal and back injuries from lifting stock
• Slips and trips from poorly maintained floors that can cause workers to fall on steel stock
• Cuts from handling sharp edges on steel sheets or banding

After identifying the risk areas, harm reduction measures need implementing. All workers should have protective workwear such as gloves, hard hat, steel toe-cap footwear and high-visibility clothing.

Safety training is also important so that every employee that handles steel knows how to move and store them safely.

Using the right storage systems

A storage system for steel needs to be fit for purpose and should not put employees or visitors at risk. Your vertical steel rack supplier will have racks that safely store steel lengths. These will have supports and restraining systems that conform to all regulations and guidance by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) about the safe storage of steel.

Vertical steel racks come in various sizes, so it’s important to select one that can handle goods of the appropriate size. Most vertical rack suppliers will make racks to custom sizes if none of their standard racks fit.

Racks need to be placed on even, smooth ground. They must be made by skilled metalworkers and installed by competent installers. This applies to both permanent racks and those placed in temporary storage areas.

The best storage racks for vertical steel are made from tubular steel lengths and are welded to form solid joints. The supports need to be designed so that there is no danger of stacked steel lengths falling out of the racks.

If racks are in the same area as motorised vehicles, place guard posts to prevent collisions. Regular inspection of the racks is required to make sure that they are not damaged.

Well-made vertical steel storage racks will last for many years and safely store steel lengths until they are needed.

Posted by Derek
3rd January 2020
Health & Safety

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