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Improper moving, handling, and storing of materials can lead to accidents and injuries. When moving, handling, and storing materials follow these guidelines to ensure your safety:
- Seek help when a load is so bulky it cannot be properly grasped or lifted.
- When placing blocks under a raised load, ensure that the load is not released until hands are removed from under the load.
- Blocking materials and timbers must be large and strong enough to support the load safely. Do not use materials with evidence of cracks, rounded corners, splintered pieces, or dry rot for blocking.
- Attach handles or holders to loads to reduce the chances of getting fingers pinched or smashed. For loads with sharp or rough edges, wear gloves or other hand and forearm protection. To avoid injuries to the eyes, use eye protection. Use other appropriate protective equipment as needed.
- All materials handling equipment has rated capacities that determine the maximum weight the equipment can safely handle and the conditions under which it can handle that weight. Never exceed the equipment's rated capacity.
- When picking up items with a forklift, the load must be centered on the forks and as close to the mast as possible to minimize the potential for the truck tipping or the load falling. Never overload a forklift. The load must be at the lowest position for traveling and the truck manufacturer's operational requirements must be followed. All stacked loads must be correctly piled and cross-tiered.
- Stored materials must not create a hazard. Keep storage areas free from accumulated materials that cause tripping, fires, or explosions, or that may contribute to the harboring of pests. When stacking and piling materials, it is important to be aware of such factors as the materials' height and weight, how accessible the stored materials are to the user, and the condition of the containers where the materials are being stored.
- Separately store non-compatible materials.
- Never exceed floor load ratings.
- When stacking materials, maintain eighteen inches from the plane of sprinkler heads and twenty-four inches from the ceiling in non-sprinkler areas.