Storing goods and materials safely

Checklist: storing goods and materials safely


Statutory requirements cover the storage of certain substances, including oil, pesticides and solvents. There are a number of steps you can take to reduce the risks of storing goods. Make sure you:

  • mark all exit routes
  • keep exit routes clear to reduce fire risks
  • organise storage areas and set up procedures to allow people and vehicles - such as forklift trucks - to manoeuvre, load, unload and move goods safely
  • store flammable substances far from any source of ignition such as a heater
  • store dangerous substances, such as chemicals, appropriately - see safe storage of dangerous or hazardous materials
  • install collision barriers in vulnerable areas
  • clear up all spills immediately to reduce the risks of slips, trips and pollution
  • ensure you have adequate equipment to clean up spills of the types and quantities of materials you store
  • store liquids in areas away from drains to avoid leaks or spills reaching watercourses
  • check regularly that shelving and racking units are safe, and ensure they're the most appropriate method of storing the materials in question - see safe use of shelves, racks and pallets
  • provide any personal protective equipment (PPE) staff need to store or move materials
  • train staff in the use of PPE
  • keep the minimum amount of materials necessary in processing and production areas
  • take unused materials back to storage areas rather than leaving them lying around
  • segregate any materials which could contaminate each other or be dangerous if stored close together, eg avoid storing paint or bleach next to food in a shop stock room
  • consider how you'll ensure the security of high-value goods
  • use appropriate signage