Do you store items on racks?

SafeWork SA is investigating an Adelaide based business where an incident occurred involving the collapse of a 3 metre high racking used to display sale items. With Christmas approaching, businesses may increase stock levels to accommodate the high demand for goods and this a good time to address storage issues.

The MTA is reminding business to assess where existing and additional stock may be safely stored or displayed, without posing a risk to staff and customers. You must ensure rackings are installed and maintained according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
SafeWork SA recommends that for any racking you:

  • Choose a shelving system that is suited to the goods that you need to store or display.
  • Ensure the placement of racking does not prevent easy access to fire exits, firefighting provisions or doorways.
  • Ensure the floor being used is capable of supporting a fully loaded shelving system.
  • Ensure racking is adequately anchored to eliminate movement.
  • Display safety signs at the end of every rack to show the safe working load (SWL) or maximum shelf capacity.
  • Use racking protection posts where appropriate to guard against accidental collisions that may weaken the racking structure.
  • Evenly distribute the goods across the racking, loading lower shelves first.
  • Keep a large enough aisle width to allow easy access with handling equipment such as fork-lift trucks, pallet trucks and customer trolleys.
  • Do not let boxes or items overhang the shelves - this reduces the risk of falling goods.
  • Ensure that all posts, beams and supports are installed correctly and locked in place (as per the assembly instructions) before use.
  • Have shelving & racking systems inspected by a professional on a regular basis by a competent person to ensure they are maintained in a
    safe condition.

Further information on the standards and safety of racking are available on the SafeWork SA website by visiting

The MTA works with members and hosts to improve their Work, Health and Safety systems whether you need an audit, an Emergency and Evacuation Plan or Safe Operating Procedures.

If you need any advice or assistance with your WHS Systems, please contact the Workplace Relations team by emailing

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