Owners and operators of warehousing and storage facilities, are
responsible for the health and safety of employees and others who
may work in or visit the premises. They must consider the hazards
which are present: The storage facilities, ladders, high level
access, fork lift trucks, and the nature of the items stored
(heavy, bulky etc.).
The Storage Facilities
- Are they appropriate for the
items stored – do they need adapting?
- Are they in good condition, and
fixed to the floor and/or wall?
- Are they routinely and formally
- Is there sufficient circulation
space between them to enable safe working?
- Are they arranged so that
heavy/bulky items are stored at low level?
- Are the storage boxes/crates in
- Are mezzanine floors, stairways
and balconies properly guarded?
- Can items be safely reached and
removed by ladder?
- Are all the ladders in good
condition? Dispose of any which are not.
- Are the ladders fit for the
purpose? Long enough to prevent over-reaching? Securely fixed to
the rack (if appropriate)?
- Have the staff received formal
training in accessing stock?
- Is there a ladder register? Are
the ladders clearly identifiable?
- Is the floor in good condition,
providing a level, even surface?
- Are there clear signs
prohibiting climbing on the racking?
Fork Lift Trucks
- Are all drivers certificated? Have they had refresher
- Do you have arrangements in place to prevent unauthorised
- Are the trucks in good condition and routinely maintained?
- If fuelled by LPG. do the LPG storage facilities comply with
the specific regulations?
- Is there sufficient room to safely manoeuvre the fork lift
trucks within, and outside, the warehouse?
- Are there clear, safe walkways marked on the warehouse floor
and yard area?
- Are there safe workable arrangements for operating the trucks,
- Can you close off the aisle in which the fork lift truck is
- Are goods properly stacked on the storage pallets?
- Do you have written procedures
for safety in the loading bay?
- Do you have clear procedures
for safe reversing? Do you use a banksman?
- Are the pedestrian walkways
clearly designated and marked?
- Are the loading bay and yard
areas well lit and laid out with safety in
- Have drivers received
instruction in operating within the yard? Is this
- Are visiting/new drivers
- Is the circulation area
restricted by the storage of rubbish or redundant
Lighting, Heating and Ventilation
- Are all areas of the warehouse
sufficiently well-lit to enable safe
- Is the building used for cold
storage? If so, staff will only be safe if they are comfortable –
provide protective clothing and regular
- Does the building get very hot?
Ventilation may be required.
- If the building gets cold,
heating may be required. In areas where staff habitually sit down,
the temperature should be at least 16oC. Where work
involves physical effort, it should normally be at least
Further advice and guidance on warehousing can
be found on the HSE Website
There may be other things to consider, for
example if the product being stored is inherently hazardous, or
fragile. You must therefore carry out Risk Assessments on the tasks
to be done, in order that the appropriate control measures can be
identified and implemented. Further information on risk
assessments for warehouses, including an example risk assessment
can be found on the HSE