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Materials Handling and Storage

Revised: 7/12/2010

2010 Harvard University Department of Environmental Health & Safety 46 Blackstone Street Cambridge MA.MATERIALS HANDLING AND STORAGE Copyright © 2010 President and Fellows of Harvard University Revised July 12. 02139 Phone: (617) 495-2060 / FAX: (617) 496-5509 .

......................................3 5........................................................................................................................................................ 6 INSPECTIONS ......................................................2 OPERATING REQUIREMENTS .................................................................................... 2 3............. 1 3.............................................................................0 5..........................0 INTRODUCTION .......0 MAINTENANCE REQUIREMENTS .................................................................................................................................................. 3 4................................................................................... 2 3......2. 1 3...0 7.................. 2 4................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 6 PHYSICAL INSPECTIONS ..................................... 6 OPERATIONAL INSPECTIONS...............................1 SUPERVISOR/MANAGER/FOREMAN ..........................................3 EH&S DEPARTMENT ........ 4 4.....0 2............................................... 4 4.....................................2 EMPLOYEE ....................1..2 6..................1 5......................................................................................................0 3.................................1 MANAGER/SUPERVISOR..........................................................................1.. 2 3...2.......... 7 TRAINING ...............................................3 MATERIAL STORAGE ...............................................................1 GENERAL REQUIREMENTS ................... 3 4.................... 1 SCOPE AND APPLICATION .........................................1.........1 MANUAL MATERIAL HANDLING ..................................................................... 3 4...........MATERIALS HANDLING AND STORAGE TABLE OF CONTENTS 1............................................................. 7 Occupational Safety Standards – Materials Handling and Storage ................................................................................. 1 ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES.... 7 STANDARD DOCUMENTATION ..............................................2 STANDARD SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITIES ............................................................................................2...................... 3 PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT ................................2.......... 1 3...........0 4.......................................................................2 MATERIAL HANDLING EQUIPMENT .......................1 GENERAL RESPONSIBILITIES ..............................................................................

and adhere to practices and procedures outlined in the standard.1 MANAGER/SUPERVISOR The following are the responsibilities of the Manager/Supervisor under the provisions of the Harvard University Materials Handling and Storage Standard: • Ensure employees attend training • Provide proper type. All Harvard University employees must first complete appropriate safety training and then comply with all elements of this standard. Manually handling materials is a common component of many jobs and activities at the University. rated and OSHA/ANSI compliant materials handling equipment • Ensure that all affected employees comply with this standard • Conduct periodic inspections of work and storage areas Occupational Safety Standards – Materials Handling and Storage 1 of 7 . In addition.S.1 GENERAL RESPONSIBILITIES 3. This standard is to be used in conjunction with other Harvard University Environmental Health and Safety Standards and associated safe work practices including but not limited to: Cranes and Hoists.0 ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES All affected Harvard University employees must understand their roles. and Compressed Gas Use. 3. Powered Industrial Trucks. carrying. 2. improve the storage of materials and utilize materials handling equipment when possible. and pulling of objects without the use of powered equipment. To reduce the effects of manual materials handling activities employees should consider proper lifting techniques. 3. The Materials Handling and Storage standard is applicable to all persons employed by Harvard University that may manually handle materials during the course of their work. meet designated responsibilities.1. this standard outlines the requirements of material storage and the safe usage of materials handling equipment.0 SCOPE AND APPLICATION Many job related activities at the University require employees to follow specific procedures and protocols aimed at managing hazards and protecting themselves and members of the community. pushing.0 INTRODUCTION Manual materials handling relates to the lifting. This standard has been developed due to the high potential for improper materials handling that could result in an adverse health effects and the cumulative nature of minor lifting-related injuries.1. Back injuries due to overexertion have consistently been the number one injury reported by University employees and they account for approximately 25% of lost workdays in the U.

lifted and lowered Occupational Safety Standards – Materials Handling and Storage 2 of 7 .1 SUPERVISOR/MANAGER/FOREMAN The employee responsible for planning work orders.g. lifts.3 EH&S DEPARTMENT The following are the responsibilities of Environmental Health and Safety under the provisions of the Harvard University Materials Handling and Storage Standard: • Develop and provide Materials Handling and Storage training to affected University personnel • Provide regulatory guidance and technical assistance to University personnel • Evaluate and update the written Materials Handling and Storage Standard annually • Assist supervisors conducting hazard assessments 3. hoists) whenever possible • Avoid designing jobs that require workers to lift or lower materials to or from floor level • For loads that are unstable and/or heavy: o Tag the load to alert workers o Provide mechanical devices or equipment to lift the load o Reduce the weight of the load • Organize the work so that the physical demands and work pace increase gradually • Reduce the frequency and amount of time workers carry materials by: o Rotating workers in carrying tasks with other workers in non-carrying tasks o Having workers alternate carrying tasks with non-carrying tasks o Minimizing the distances loads are moved.• Repair or remove defective materials handling equipment 3.2 EMPLOYEE The following are the responsibilities of the Employee under the provisions of the Harvard University Materials Handling and Storage Standard: • Attend required training • Lift and move materials using safe lifting procedures outlined in this standard • Utilize materials handling equipment when possible • Store materials in the appropriate manner and location • Do not lift materials that exceed your capabilities 3.1.2 STANDARD SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITIES 3.2.1.. directly managing employees or managing the storage of materials must take the following into consideration: • Plan the workflow to eliminate unnecessary lifting or carrying • Have materials dropped off near the work zone • Provide mechanical devices (e.

choose the size that fits properly o Lift only as much as you can safely handle by yourself o Keep the lifts in your power zone (i. even motions o Keep the load as close to the body as possible o To the extent feasible use your legs to push up and lift the load.1 MANUAL MATERIAL HANDLING When moving materials manually. fiber.4. employees must utilize the following procedures when moving or lifting materials manually: • Check for tags on loads • Before lifting. below the shoulders.1 GENERAL REQUIREMENTS PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT Using the following personal protective equipment prevents injuries when manually moving materials: • Hand and forearm protection. use equipment Occupational Safety Standards – Materials Handling and Storage 3 of 7 . step to one side or the other to turn o Alternate heavy lifting or forceful exertion tasks with less physically demanding tasks o Reduce the distances that loads are moved to a minimum. if long trips are required. and close to the body). above the knees..2 OPERATING REQUIREMENTS 4.0 4. not the upper body or back o Do not twist your body. if possible o Use extra caution when lifting loads that may be unstable • When lifting: o Get a secure grip o Use both hands whenever possible o Avoid jerking by using smooth. or falls o If you wear gloves. trips. workers should always wear appropriate personal protective equipment and use proper lifting techniques. for loads with sharp or rough edges • Eye protection • Steel-toed safety shoes or boots • Metal. To prevent injury from oversized loads.e. or plastic metatarsal guards to protect the instep area from impact or compression 4. workers should seek help when: • A load is so bulky that employees cannot properly grasp or lift it • Employees cannot see around or over a load • Employees cannot safely handle a load In addition.2. always test the load for stability and weight • Plan the lift: o Wear appropriate footwear to avoid slips. such as gloves.

or that may contribute to the harboring of rats and other pest • Place stored materials inside buildings that are under construction and at least 6 feet from hoist ways. To help prevent injuries when stacking materials. To prevent the creation of hazards when storing materials. causing injuries or death. how accessible the stored materials are to the user.o Take rest breaks 4. lighterweight equipment is easier to move • Choose equipment appropriate for the material(s) being handled. or explosions. 4. fires. and the condition of the containers where the materials are being stored when stacking and piling materials.2 MATERIAL HANDLING EQUIPMENT Proper use of mechanical equipment to move and store materials reduces the injuries associated to manual materials handling.3 MATERIAL STORAGE Stored materials must not create a hazard for employees. remember. and the work tasks being performed • Use powered equipment — rather than non-powered — when pushing and pulling forces are excessive • Choose wheeled equipment which minimizes start forces and reduces rolling resistance • Ground all electrically operated equipment • Make sure equipment alarms and warning devices are audible and working properly • Inspect and maintain equipment according to manufacturers’ recommendations • Follow all manufacturers’ recommendations for proper equipment use Employees that utilize powered industrial trucks or cranes and hoists must comply with the associated University standards and be properly trained through coordination with the Department of Environmental Health and Safety. the layout and design of your workplace. It is important that equipment is utilized correctly using the following guidelines: • Know your load and buy equipment of appropriate capacity.2.2. Employers should make workers aware of such factors as the materials’ height and weight. employers must do the following: • Keep storage areas free from accumulated materials that cause tripping. workers must do the following: • Stack lumber no more than 16 feet high if it is handled manually. and no more than 20 feet if using a forklift Occupational Safety Standards – Materials Handling and Storage 4 of 7 . or inside floor openings and at least 10 feet away from exterior walls • Separate non-compatible material • Paint walls or posts with stripes to indicate maximum stacking heights for quick reference Stacking of materials can be dangerous if workers do not follow safety guidelines. Falling materials and collapsing loads can crush or pin workers.

cylinders must be stored 20 ft away from combustible materials • Valves must always be in the “closed” position • Stored cylinders must have valve caps in place Compressed gas cylinder storage and use procedures depend on the type of gas contained in the cylinder. dry location Keep away from sources of heat. start from the top row first) Store materials no closer than 18 inches to sprinkler heads Band boxed materials or secure them with cross-ties or shrink wrap Stack drums and barrels symmetrically Block the bottom tiers of drums and barrels and other rolling stock to keep them from rolling if stored on their sides Place planks. to keep them secure Stack bagged material by stepping back the layers and cross-keying the bags at least every ten layers (to remove bags from the stack. flat. keep them segregated Store cylinders in ventilated.1 • • • • • • • Manufacturer’s instructions must be followed Contact supplier immediately if there are any problems with a cylinder Empty or full cylinders must be stored upright Stored upright cylinders must be secured by a cage. sheets of plywood or pallets between each tier of drums and barrels to make a firm.2.3. cool. The manufacturer’s instructions must be followed closely and if there are any questions or problems with a particular cylinder the supplier must be contacted immediately for assistance. strap or webbing Do not store empty cylinders with full cylinders. stacking surface when stacking on end Chock the bottom tier of drums and barrels on each side to prevent shifting in either direction when stacking two or more tiers high Stack and block poles as well as other cylindrical materials to prevent spreading or tilting unless they are in racks Observe height limitations when stacking materials COMPRESSED GAS CYLINDER STORAGE 4. chain.• • • • • • • • • • • • • • Remove all nails from used lumber before stacking Stack and level lumber on solidly supported bracing Ensure that stacks are stable and self-supporting Do not store pipes and bars in racks that face main aisles to avoid creating a hazard to passersby when removing supplies Stack bags and bundles in interlocking rows like brick laying. Occupational Safety Standards – Materials Handling and Storage 5 of 7 .

cold. environmental conditions such as extreme heat. fuel cylinders or any other highly combustible materials.3 5.1 MAINTENANCE REQUIREMENTS INSPECTIONS OPERATIONAL INSPECTIONS Manual material handling tasks may expose workers to physical risk factors. Oxygen must be separated from these materials by a minimum distance of 20 feet or by a noncombustible barrier at least five feet high with a fire resistance rating of at least one-half hour. The main risk factors or conditions associated with the development of injuries in manual material handling tasks include: • Awkward postures (bending.0 5. carrying) • Forceful exertions (carrying or lifting heavy loads) • Pressure points (grasping [or contact from] loads. leaning against parts or surfaces that are hard or have sharp edges) • Static postures (maintaining fixed positions for a long time) In addition. Oxygen cylinders that are stored in exterior generator houses must be kept isolated from the generator by a non-combustible partition with a fire rating of at least one hour. Fuel gas cylinders must be separated from oxygen cylinders by a minimum distance of 20 feet or by a non-combustible barrier at least five feet high with a fire resistance rating of at least one-half hour. which are likely to cause or accelerate fire. All Fuel gas cylinders shall be stored and shipped valve end up. and poor lighting. may increase workers’ chances of developing other types of problems. oil. Occupational Safety Standards – Materials Handling and Storage 6 of 7 . If these tasks are performed repeatedly or over long periods of time. FUEL-GAS CYLINDER STORAGE Fuel gas cylinders stored inside a building must be limited to a total gas capacity of 2.OXYGEN CYLINDER STORAGE • Keep oxygen cylinders at least 20 ft from grease. lifting. they can lead to fatigue and injury. 4. twisting) • Repetitive motions (frequent reaching.000 cubic feet or 300 pounds unless it is in actual use or is attached and ready for use – the Local Authority Having Jurisdiction might be less. noise. grease. fuel cylinders or other highly combustible material • Keep away from sources of heat • Valves must always be in the “closed” position • Stored cylinders must have valve caps in place Oxygen Cylinders shall not be stored near oil.

0 STANDARD DOCUMENTATION TRAINING Every University employee must complete the Materials Handling and Storage Training course through the Department of Environmental Health and Safety. Occupational Safety Standards – Materials Handling and Storage 7 of 7 . If conditions are identified that cannot be found in this standard.2 PHYSICAL INSPECTIONS Physical inspections must be conducted periodically by supervisors and managers to ensure that material handling equipment is in good repair and that materials are stored in accordance with section 4. 6. the Department of Environmental Health and Safety should be contacted for technical assistance.3 of this standard. employers must train employees in the proper use and limitations of the equipment they operate to reduce the number of accidents associated with workplace equipment.2.0 7.Managers and Supervisors must continually monitor their employees for the risk factors listed above. In addition. 5. If any of the conditions are recognized an analysis of the work must be done to ensure that procedures are in compliance with this standard.